January Chairman's Report
-- AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Premieres January 23 on ABC Television Network --
For the first time in the 10-year history of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship the broadcast of this prestigious event will be seen nationwide on network television. We are pleased to partner with the ABC Television Network on this important milestone. All 167 AKC breeds will be showcased as they compete for top honors and $225,000 in prize money at the country’s only 100% invitational dog show. This year’s installment promises to be loaded with fun surprises as we unveil an invigorating new format to our televised audience.
Those of us in attendance in Long Beach, CA who watched Best in Show Judge Jean Fournier select the National Champion from more than 2,300 dogs enjoyed the suspense, the showmanship, and quality of all the entries. For those of you who didn’t catch the action live, be sure to watch the groups and BIS on Sunday afternoon, January 23. If you happen to be at a dog show that day, then don’t forget to set your DVR!
Another exciting enhancement to this year’s telecast is the addition of Todd Grisham, the lead broadcaster for World Wrestling Entertainment and Fox Soccer Channel’s MLS package. He will handle commentary duties along with AKC’s Assistant Vice President Gina DiNardo who is returning for her second year as dog show analyst.
We’re pleased to welcome Todd with his trademark humor and enthusiasm. He has proven himself very popular with mainstream sports fans, so we know the show’s commentary will be entertaining. As many of you know, DiNardo has had a life-long involvement with purebred dogs. She showed her first dog at age five and has more than 30 years experience in the sport of purebred dogs, primarily with Doberman Pinschers and also Great Danes, Bichon Frises, Boxers, Dachshunds, Beagles, Whippets, Smooth Fox Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Pugs, Norwich Terriers and Golden Retrievers.
The National Championship is our biggest public education opportunity with potentially millions of TV viewers watching. Dog lovers can enjoy their favorite breeds and potential dog owners can get a first glimpse of the wonderful world of purebred dogs. Watching or attending a dog show is one of the best places to start the search for a purebred dog. It’s the beginning of the journey to decide which breed is the best fit for a particular lifestyle.
In order to maximize this educational opportunity we have asked our Best of Breed winners to alert their local media. Cheering on hometown favorites and our own breeds is a fun activity that you can share with other dog lovers in your community. Watching the National Championship on ABC can become a community event with a little creativity. Perhaps a local library or community center would like to host a TV dog show party to watch the event. Your club’s Canine Ambassador can bring along a live dog, breed poster, and other materials to answer questions and join the fun! What better way to not only make a difference in your town but to help your club meet one of its educational eligibility requirements by hosting a TV dog show party.
Whether you watch from your couch with your dogs or with a group of neighbors or children, please join us. Besides the canine competitors, we will also highlight some of our other programs such as Breeder of the Year, the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence winners, the top junior handlers in the nation and much more. You’ll be able to catch the show at 2 p.m. EST/PST and 1 p.m. CST. Visit www.akc.org/aenc for more information about the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.
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