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Ann Arbor annual dog show-2015

Finishing touches are being applied to Monroe County Fairgrounds; Monroe, Michigan for the annual dog show, hosted this July holiday weekend by Ann Arbor Kennel Club. From Friday July 3rd through Sunday 5th more than two thousand dogs will compete in Conformation, Rally, Obedience and Barn Hunt. For the first time ever, Dock Diving will be one of the events on display. If you’re looking for something exciting to do this holiday weekend, this should be at the top of your list.

See The Full Event Schedule

This year, there are a record number of 2,140 dogs entered in competition. Approximately 70% of these entries hail from Michigan but some competitors will arrive from as far away as California in what has become an annual pilgrimage to the Midwest.

The Ann Arbor KC Annual Dog Show features two All-Breed Dog Shows, three Obedience Trials and three Rally Trials. Since 1955, Ann Arbor KC and a dedicated group of volunteer members have provided invaluable and committed community service to purebred dogs.

There are not too many dog shows today that attract more than two thousand entries. Like all successes, this one is rooted in planning and hard work. Long serving Show Chair, Mary Anne Brocious is the engine behind this top dog show. She has bred and shown English Sheepdogs for years and has finished more than 100 Old English Sheepdog Champions. She started breeding and showing collies at age 15, after spending four summers with her Grandfather in Wales, who bred Wirehaired Terriers. As an experienced judge and exhibitor herself, Mary Anne is keen to put on a great show to acknowledge all the clubs whose shows she judges and attends year round.

Mary Anne attributes the consistently high entries to the work that Ann Arbor KC do throughout the year with Specialty Clubs in Michigan. This year there will be 50 specialty clubs participating in the show.

 ‘We work with them throughout the year and we want include them. Our show would be half the size it is without the Specialty Clubs. I travel to speak to Specialties about everything the Ann Arbor KC has to offer.’

This relationship with Specialty Clubs has built a loyal cluster of clubs that have a place to run their events within a larger show. For Mary Anne and her colleagues, the main reason they have been successful is that they want to find out who their customers are. They work hard to identify what they need and want and focus the event on delivering those expectations[P1] .

Mary Anne is a big believer in approaching any event like a business. She and the Ann Arbor KC Show Committee colleagues write a business plan, which helps them stay focused and manage their costs closely. It is clear they run a tight ship. Success is in the details; there is even a tow service on hand should some vehicles get stuck in the parking areas.

Mary Anne and her club use their event facility to full advantage for exhibitors and spectators. The Ann Arbor KC is fortunate to have a superb venue for their show with ten manicured grass rings. They erect two large grooming tents with industrial fans. There will be coolers of bottled water around the show site and swimming pools for dogs to cool down. There are rest areas for exhibitors and seating is provided in different places, both to watch Barn Hunt and bleachers for spectators to watch Dock Diving.

There are also dog health testing services on hand along with a Wellness Clinic with inoculations and heartworm tests. AKC Reunite will also be in attendance to offer advice on microchip protection for your dog. Mary Anne and her team cover all the bases and even have a scavenger hunt and raffle for kids. Other activities include Dock Diving—a first for this show. This was made possible with the generous support of Cabellas Sporting Goods.  Ann Arbot KC works hard to hold the show entry prices for competing dogs at $29, even though each year costs are rising.

 “Obedience and Rally are expensive to run. We hold them back-to-back in an indoor facility with air conditioning. There are four breed rings: for terrier group, toy group, sporting group and non-sporting group. The three Obedience Trials are run with three judges and everything is timed tightly with balanced classes. This is all managed by Sharon Redmer, the Obedience Chair and a Judge in Conformation. The number of entries and the timing of each event are managed closely to ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Over her many years of involvement in the sport, Mary Anne has seen what it takes to put on a great dog show. Preparation takes place all year round, building and maintaining relationships with other clubs. The Ann Arbor KC has been holding weekly Conformation Classes for 25-30 years, run by club members.

According to Mary Anne, “This is about levels of participation, recognition for people and accessibility.”

In recent years she has seen other clubs struggle to attract new members and entries to their shows and matches. She is keen to share her club’s knowledge and experience with other clubs, for example bringing back more Sanctioned Matches.

“Sometimes we can get bogged down in tradition but some traditions should be preserved. I think that clubs should keep holding sanctioned matches as standalone events. We have ours in March. This March more than 100 dogs participated. This really helps our sport. It helps people who are potential competitors in the sport get advice, information and recommendations. Our Sanctioned Match is run by club members.”

The Ann Arbor KC show supports the AKC Humane Fund.  The club is grateful to their sponsors, including Purina and Capella Sporting Goods, whose support makes all of this possible.

List of Specialty Clubs participating this weekend.

  • Maize & Blue Combined Specialties Hosted by the Ann Arbor Kennel Club, Inc.
  • Michigan Sporting Dog Association
  • Sporting Concurrent Specialties – Separate Premium Lists
  • Fort Detroit German Wirehaired Pointer Club, Inc.
  • English Setter Association of America, Inc.
  • Irish Setter Club of Michigan
  • English Springer Spaniel Club of Michigan, Inc.
  • Spinone Club of America
  • Southern Michigan Weimaraner Club, Inc.
  • Michigan Hound Association
  • Michigan Boxer Club
  • Doberman Pinscher Club of Michigan
  • Wolverine Great Dane Club of Western Michigan
  • United States Australian Shepherd Association, Inc. (Member of American Kennel Club)
  • Wolverine Belgian Tervuren Club of Southern Michigan
  • Michigan Brittany Club, Inc.
  • Marshbanks Golden Retriever Club of South-Central Michigan
  • Vizsla Club of Michigan, Inc.
  • Basset Hound Club of Greater Detroit, Inc.
  • Raisin River Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Michigan
  • Southern Michigan Schipperke Club
  • Fort Detroit German Wirehaired Pointer Club
  • Michigamme English Setter Club, Inc.
  • Nodrog Gordon Setter Club of Michigan, Inc.
  • Irish Setter Club of Michigan
  • Detroit Cocker Spaniel Club, Inc.
  • English Springer Spaniel Club of Michigan, Inc.
  • Vizsla Club of Michigan, Inc.
  • Southern Michigan Weimaraner Club, Inc.
  • Greater Detroit Afghan Hound Club, Inc.
  • Midwest Dachshund Club
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, Inc.
  • Huron Valley Saluki Club
  • Michigan Boxer Club, Inc.
  • Doberman Pinscher Club of Michigan
  • Wolverine Great Dane Club of Western Michigan, Inc.
  • Siberian Husky Club of Greater Detroit, Inc.
  • Cairn Terrier Club of Greater Detroit
  • Havanese Club of America
  • Motor City Miniature Pinscher Club, Inc.
  • Papillon Club of America, Inc. – Saturday
  • Imperial Pekingese Club of Greater Flint, Inc.
  • Detroit Bulldog Club, Inc.
  • Poodle Club of Southeast Michigan, Inc.
  • Southern Michigan Schipperke Club
  • Huron Valley Australian Shepherd Association
  • Wolverine Belgian Tervuren Club of Southern Michigan
  • Berger Picard Club of America
  • Bouvier des Flandres Club of Southeastern Michigan, Inc.


See the full Event Schedule.
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