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The 2017 American Whippet Club National Specialty, Denver CO

After a wonderful stay in the Colorado foothills, we finally made our way to Denver for the big event. The AWC National Specialty is the biggest conformation dog show for whippets in North America, and happens in a different US host city each year. About 500 whippets from all over the US and Canada converge for a week of events including lure coursing, obedience, rally, a Top Twenty gala evening featuring the country’s top whippets, and of course a huge conformation dog show.

Competing at the AWC National Specialty is unlike competing at any other dog show. First of all there are only whippets competing, and so many of them that the individual classes often have to be broken down into groups that show in turn. There are several rounds of finalists pulled out and compared before the top 4 winners in each class are finally chosen, and being awarded any one of those top four ribbons is truly considered an honor.

I couldn’t have been more proud of our girls, and Oscar. All three were top finalists in their classes, and both Oscar and Minnie finished in the ribbons! Oscar showed first on Wednesday in the large Open Dog class, and was awarded 2nd Place in a big group of very competitive males. Evie showed on Thursday in what turned out to be the second largest class in the show, Junior Bitches. She made it through several cuts to the final lineup of 8 beautiful youngsters. She was so tired out by the final round that she just didn’t want to play anymore and it showed, so I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t end up with a ribbon, but I was still very proud of how well she did overall and in such beautiful competition. Minnie showed in the incredibly competitive Open Bitch class on Friday and never let down for a minute, earning 2nd Place in her class, and a lot of fans. Thanks to breeder judge Harold Tatro for recognizing her so highly and to my biggest supporter, my husband Bob, for the great pictures of Minnie and I in the ring! Showing at a National Specialty is as much about seeing, being seen, and the comradery as it is about winning, and in all of these regards this National was a resounding success. I discovered a number of beautiful dogs I had never seen before. I was overwhelmed with kind comments on Oscar, Minnie and Evie, who each developed a bit of a fan following of their own. And I had the chance to reconnect with old friends, and make great new connections with people as passionate about this breed as I am.

I'm looking forward to next year already!!

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