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AKC to Host 'Eukanuba World Challenge' at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

(Thursday, August 28, 2008)

-- Top Dogs from 52 Countries Will Compete for Title and Prizes; Finals to Be Televised --

The American Kennel Club® is pleased to announce that it will host the second annual Eukanuba World Challenge in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif. on December 13-14, 2008. This exciting international competition, which will feature the top dogs from 52 countries, is the only event of its kind and will now be televised during the show's simulcast on Animal Planet and Discovery Channels in January 2009.

"Last year's inaugural Eukanuba World Challenge, which featured the world's greatest canine competitors, was one of the most popular events at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship," said Michael Canalizo, Director of AKC Event Management. "With the generous support of Eukanuba, we are delighted to announce several exciting new additions this year, such as a new judging format and twelve additional participating countries, including Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Estonia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela."

The Eukanuba World Challenge is sponsored by Eukanuba with the cooperation of The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Eukanuba will provide an all expenses paid trip for each dog and its owner to attend the competition. The eligible countries include 49 FCI recognized countries in addition to the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

Each of the participating countries may select the competing dog based on a rating system of their choice, or they may designate a show where the Best in Show winner will receive this honor. The AKC has designated the previous year's winner of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Representing the U.S. for the upcoming Eukanuba World Challenge will be the reigning AKC/Eukanuba National Champion - Ch Efbe's Hidalgo at Goodspice or "Charmin," a Sealyham Terrier.

Anne van Merkensteijn, Associate Marketing Director for Eukanuba Europe, stated that "this unique event has again been made possible due to the AKC's efforts and the cooperation of the kennel clubs participating in the Eukanuba World Challenge through the assistance of The Fédération Cynologique Internationale. We are pleased that twelve additional countries have accepted Eukanuba's invitation to participate this year, ensuring that the very best purebred dogs in the world will be represented at this unique competition."

Due to the numerous European countries competing, the competitors in the Eukanuba World Challenge will be divided into four sections this year: Europe & Africa 1, Europe & Africa 2, Asia & Oceania and the Americas. Two sections will be judged each day of the show and three dogs per section will advance to the Eukanuba World Challenge finals.

FCI President and all-breed judge Hans Muller will judge the final; Paulo Dondina will judge the Americas section; Ellis Hulme, Asia & Oceania, and Edd Bivin and Rafael DeSantiago will each judge one of the two Europe & Africa sections.

The winner will be awarded the title of "Eukanuba World Challenge Champion" and $10,000. There is a $3,000 prize for the runner up and $2,000 for the first runner up. The winning dog's national kennel club will receive a $5,000 prize. All international competitors of AKC recognized breeds will also receive an invitation to compete in the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. International entries who qualify will also be eligible for the Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show competition.

For more information about the Eukanuba World Challenge please contact Michael Canalizo at mlc@akc.org or 212-696-8213, or visit our website at www.akc.org.