Friday, April 15, 2016

The Show is Over

Last weekend the German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida held our annual shows. There were a lot of changes this year.
  • We took advantage of recent AKC changes and added a third show. We still had the AM and PM shows on Friday like usual, but we were able to hold a third show on Saturday. This show was in addition to the Greater Orange Park Dog Club all breed shows on Saturday and Sunday. This gave German Shepherd people five chances to win over a three-day weekend.
  • We moved our ring. For the past 5 years at the fairgrounds we've shown under cover on hard clay. This year, we moved the ring out into the grass. This meant that we had to break out our ring poles and sledgehammer. We also had to set up canopies to provide shade. This required a lot more physical labor. However, it looked nice and we got a bunch of compliments from the participants. I guess it was worth the work.
  • We sold a potluck lunch. The club bought soda, water, plates and plastic ware. Club members were asked to bring in stuff. (I personally made 30 sandwiches.) We set out the spread and sold lunch for $5 a plate. It was stressful to coordinate because most people waited until the last minute to say they were bringing something. However, it all turned out nicely and everybody seemed to enjoy it. We even had leftover food.
  • This was my first show as club president. Our show chairman handled all the show related stuff -- AKC paperwork, hiring judges and stewards, arranging travel and lodging, securing the venue, finding a photographer, coordinating with the other clubs on site and the like. (FYI: It's a lot of work). I handled most of the peripheral duties -- arranging volunteers, running concessions, making coffee, buying donuts, stocking the trailer, transporting 100 pounds of ice, organizing raffle baskets, coordinating set up and break down, etc. (Lesson learned: There are A LOT of little things that go into putting on a show.)
  • I didn't show Jedi. I went back and forth over this for several weeks, but ultimately I decided against it. The club really needed me in a leadership role and as much as I would have liked to run around the ring, I just didn't have the energy to do both. On a happy note though, a friend of mine came up from Miami to show her dog Enzo, and he got the final points (an elusive major) needed to make Champion. I was thrilled that I was there to see it.
  • The Greater Orange Park Dog Club added obedience and rally trials to their conformation shows this year. It drew more entries -- some people just came for just one competition, and others showing in all three. However, it required a lot more volunteers too. I was a ring steward Saturday morning before our third show.
Our show weekend went very well, but I'm glad it's over. It was exhausting. The weather was beautiful, albeit a little warmer than I had wanted. (Mid-80's. In April. Can you believe it?!)

I didn't take a single picture, despite the fact that my camera was in the car. Lucky for me, a few of our members are real shutterbugs. I stole these pictures from our club's FB page.

Our ring and canopies. LOTS of work.

One of our Club dogs, Lizzie. She moves like a cloud! (Notice all 4 feet are off the ground.)

Concessions turned out very nice. We made almost $200!

Our Club members made some gorgeous raffle baskets.

Our awards garnered quite a few oohs and aahs as well.

New Champion Enzo and his handler, Jessi

Sorry you missed the shows. They were great. They'll be even better next year when we host the 2017 Southeast Futurity/Maturity shows in addition to our regular shows. That's kind of a big deal, BTW. But for the next couple months we're going to rest and regroup.

I, however, can't rest just yet. This Saturday is our annual Beach Day BBQ. It's the favorite event of the year for many of our club members. And it takes more work to put on than many realize as well. Fortunately, I've planned this before. (Next year I'm delegating!) Back-to-back weekends may not have been the best idea. I'm too tired to make German Shepherd Cupcakes this year.

Anyway, I need to cut this short and load up the SUV. I'll share Beach Day with you later. I'll even try to remember to take pictures. TTFN, -- K

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