October Chairman's Report
Despite our patriotic name, the American Kennel Club® is a world-class organization with an international presence. Earlier this month, the AKC/USA World Agility Team put in a stellar performance in Basel, Switzerland at the 11th FCI World Agility Championships. Sending Americans and their globe-trotting dogs to world competitions represents just one way in which we can help create a global canine community for the good of all dogs.
The AKC/USA team, sponsored by Eukanuba and Clean Run Productions, competed alongside 33 countries. We are proud of our team’s dedication and of the more than 100 USA fans that traveled to Basel to cheer for them. Their highlights include:
College student and former Junior Jennifer Crank and her Shetland Sheepdog “Guess” were the Silver Medalist in the Medium Dog Individual competition, beating out more than 60 other teams.
Linda Mecklenburg and her Border Collie “Stellar” placed 9th out of 134 large dogs in competition.
Carrie Jones and her Border Collie “Jive” placed 20th in this group even with Carrie taking a fall on the slippery surface during the first round.
Barbara Davis and her 2-year-old Sheltie “Rock-It” placed 7th out of 70 small dog competitors.
In the Large Dog Individual Standard round Marcus Topps and his Border Collie “Juice” had the second fastest run out of the 134 dogs.
The Large Dog Team placed 7th out of 31 countries while the Medium Dog Team placed 9th out of 26 teams.
Nipping at the heels of this great international showing, the inaugural AKC Agility Invitational will be held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, CA on Dec. 2 & 3. Joining the top-ranked U.S. agility dogs (including the top five ranked agility dogs in each AKC-recognized breed) are teams from Puerto Rico, Canada, England and Argentina, giving our spectators a taste of the best in the world.
And in the show ring, thousands of foreign dogs are invited to compete at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Further adding to the international flair of the event is the fact that it serves as the only all-breed qualifying show in America for entry into Crufts – the world’s largest dog show. The winners of Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, Best Bred-by-Exhibitor and the Awards of Merit are qualified to enter Crufts, as designated by The Kennel Club (England).
But international good will is more than just competition. Working with other countries with like-minded goals, we are able to further our domestic mission of public education and responsible dog ownership.
For example, the AKC Meet the Breeds showcase, held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, was inspired in part by AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung's experiences at The Kennel Club's Discover Dogs. AKC furthered this brilliant idea with an award for the most creatively decorated booth which showcases the breed's specific history, origin or function, a majority of which have their roots in faraway lands. International flavor is always boldly on display at AKC Meet the Breeds.
Breeders of American-bred dogs also benefit from AKC’s reciprocal relationships with a wealth of foreign registries – from Argentina to Yugoslavia and Australia to Zimbabwe. Fanciers can register imported breeding stock from a variety of nations to further the sport of purebred dogs, right here in America.
Even on our own shores, we routinely see dogs in competition with Canadian, Bermudian, and Mexican Championships, our closest international neighbors. And many have seen English Champions gracing our show rings for breeders to view and evaluate. The reciprocity of information is heightened when we send an “AKC Information Booth” to Crufts or host booths in America from the Kennel Club, the Bermuda Kennel Club, and the Mexican Kennel Club like we did at January’s installment of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. We look forward to continuing this interaction.
Whether we are competitors at the World Agility Championship or at Crufts or just working with clubs from around the globe, we are always pleased to encounter the good sportsmanship, responsible breeding practices and pride in purebred dogs that bonds us with foreign fanciers. While our international fanciers may speak many languages it is a universal goal of caring for and promoting the betterment of breeds that transcends borders.
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