Friday, March 7, 2014

Putting On A Show, Part 1

Our Premium -- kind of an event announcement and sign up
My dog club is putting on a show. Actually it's several shows over the course of three days. I said I would help out again this year, and that I wanted to be more involved. I also said that I wanted to show Jedi at some of these shows, so most of my assistance would have to be pre-show stuff. Well, the Show Secretary and Show Chairman took me up on that offer. WOW. I had no idea how much went into putting on a show. I am overwhelmed. (And very excited.)

A couple of our older, more experienced club members have been doing this for years. They're tired and want to pass the baton. Most of our members are new to the fancy and inexperienced (me included). We are clueless to how you:
  • Find/secure a venue
  • Find judges
  • Fill out AKC paperwork
  • Advertise the show
  • Set up the rings
  • Find trophies, ribbons and rosettes
  • Host a Hospitality Dinner
  • Put together the Premium
  • Put together the Catalog
  • Buy proper insurance
  • plus 100 other things
I'm trying to learn as much as possible, hoping to be competent (and confident) enough to take on the role of Show Secretary or Show Chairman someday. Until then I am Helper Girl, doing my best not to screw things up.

This year I am "keeper of the lists." I'm sending out premiums to prior exhibitors as well as adding new ones as new requests come in. The last list keeper's hard drive crashed, so all I have to work from is a print out. I'm recreating the database. It's tedious, but I actually enjoy it. Once entries start coming in I'm helping with the catalog too.

So have I totally confused you? I forget that there are people out there who know even less about dog showing than I do! Let me break down the terminology, starting with the premium above.
  • Premium --  a pamphlet created by the show superintendent or show secretary which is mailed to prospective exhibitors. It lists all the pertinent info: the club(s) hosting the show, the date(s) and location of the show, the judges, classes and awards offered, etc. The premium also contains required forms, specifies the fees for entering, and lists the closing date by which entries must be received. The AKC stipulates that the premium must be available at least six weeks before closing date. Don't confuse this with the . . .
  • Catalog -- a booklet sold at shows which lists each entered dog's entry number, class entered, registered name and number, breeder, owner, sire (father), dam (mother), and date of birth. Putting this together takes a lot of attention to detail!
  • Specialty Show -- a dog show of only one breed, given by a Specialty Club (i.e. the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida). Because it's only one breed, you get more entrants for that breed (thus a higher point value). However, there are still fewer overall entrants than at an all-breed show, so a club can hold two shows on one day (thus twice as many chances to win). This is different from an . . .
  • All-Breed Show -- a dog show where all (or almost all) the different purebred breeds are being shown and judged simultaneously. Dogs that win Best of Breed go onto to Best of Group and then group winners go up for Best in Show. Think Westminster.
  • Match -- a practice dog show for new dogs and dog handlers. Matches are more relaxed and usually judged by an experienced handler, not a sanctioned AKC judge. The winner doesn't receive any championship points, and most matches specify that pointed dogs are not permitted to enter.
  • Sanctioned -- means that the match/show is approved by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and is following AKC rules
  • Temperament Test -- a series of exercises used to determine a dog's soundness. This is a new one for our club (long story for another post). We've got a senior evaluator with the German Shepherd Dog Club of America coming in from Virginia to administer the test. I'll go over that in detail in another post as well. The rules are here in case you want to read ahead.
  • Futurity/Maturity -- a special contest for breeders. Breeders bet that their puppies will be winners before they are whelped (born). They "nominate" the litters and pay a fee. At futurity/maturity shows the winners get the pot. This is one of the few times an exhibitor actually wins money at a dog show.
Do you feel any smarter? Is there anything I could explain better? As I stated in the last Pet Blogger Challenge, once upon a time I wanted to find a blog about being a newbie in the show ring. I looked and looked for a blog like that and when I couldn't find one, I decided I'd have to try to write one myself. I enjoy dog shows, but still find that people can be cliquish and dismissive to newbies. So among other things, I want this blog to be helpful and informative to the newbies that come behind me. Learn from my mistakes! Until next time, -- K