PE Corner
Oregonians Embrace AKC Education Match

Junior Showmanship.

Forty of Greater Portland-area clubs joined together in mid June to put on an AKC Education Match extravaganza aimed at introducing and recruiting newcomers with AKC-registered purebred dogs to the many exciting and varied aspects of the sport of purebred dogs.

The event at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro drew more than 450 entries.

“It was definitely a new experience,” said 17-year-old Melissa Cookingham, who attended a junior showmanship handling presentation before participating in the match with her Boykin Spaniel. “I was new to the entire thing. I learned a lot, and the people were very helpful.”

Cookingham and her Boykin Spaniel were awarded fourth in the FSS group during the match, and she hopes to enter another AKC match or show in the future.

Cookingham was one of hundreds of purebred dog owners who attended the Saturday event in mid June. Attendees were treated to organized educational activities including handling classes for both adults and children, grooming tips and demonstrations, presentations about dog show procedures, dog show entry assistance, equipment advice from an all-purpose dog show vendor, AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) evaluations, companion events (obedience, agility and rally) demonstrations and run-throughs, a PEC education booth with assorted AKC materials and a licensed dog show superintendent with information concerning dog shows in the area. All this was in addition to being able to practice their newly learned skills with their dogs in an AKC match.

“We had 30 specialty clubs, seven all-breed clubs and two obedience clubs work together to put on this multi-club education match,” said AKC Director of Public Education Larry Sorenson, who attended the event. “That kind of participation is crucial to putting on this kind of event.”

“These AKC Education Matches are new and different – they are truly aimed at sharing our sport with and recruiting newcomers who will eventually add strength, numbers and longevity to our kennel clubs and the sport of purebred dogs we’re so passionate about,” Sorenson added. “We’re encouraging clubs across the country to put on AKC Education Matches in their regions and look forward to supporting their efforts.”

If you’re interested in conducting an AKC Education Match in your region, please contact Larry Sorenson.