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AKC Hosts Florida Lawmakers at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

AENC 2015 Best in Show
Florida legislators met beautiful dogs, chatted with dedicated dog owners, and shared the excitement of the 2015 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship this month in Orlando, Florida. U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-9) and Orange County Commissioners S. Scott Boyd and Pete Clarke were among the lawmakers who visited the event on Dec. 13-14.

Congressman Grayson and Dr. Dena Minning got a behind-the-scenes look at Sunday night’s group and Best In Show competition. Grayson went center stage at the finale to present the Best In Show trophy to handler Kent Boyles and winning German Shepherd Dog GCH CH Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn.

Best In Show AENC 2015
Congressman Alan Grayson (second from left) presents the Best of Breed trophy at the 2015 American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship.

Commissioners Boyd and Clarke each toured the event with Sheila Goffe, AKC Director of Government Relations. They viewed breeds of all shapes and sizes in conformation judging, joined the excited crowds at dock diving, and watched talented dogs and handlers race through the courses at the fast-paced agility rings.

Commissioner clark
Commissioner Pete Clarke visits the Mastiff booth at Meet the Breeds.

Commissioner Boyd and his guest got an unexpected treat as they strolled through the Meet the Breeds exhibits—Ginny Merchant, the breeder of their puppy, was one of the expert volunteers at the Rhodesian Ridgeback booth! They got the chance to become reacquainted with the sire of their puppy and share photos showing how their puppy has grown.

Commissioner boyd
Commissioner Scott Boyd (right), with guest Allison Turnbull (left), shared puppy photos with Ginny Merchant (center), breeder of his Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

Exhibitors and spectators stopped by the AKC Government Relations booth to discuss canine legislative issues, learn about AKC’s outreach initiatives, and pick up copies of AKC GR’s educational materials, including newly-updated data on the economic benefits of AKC events. The Orlando Business Journal reported that the 2015 AENC events and pre-shows provided $40 million in economic impact to the local economy.