The AWC MidWest Specialty is hands down my favorite whippet specialty show weekend of the year. Held annually at Bill Stanton Community Park on the south shore of Lake Erie, the show grounds are gorgeous, and the show itself draws a huge entry of over 1100 dogs from all over the country, including about 100 beautiful whippets and an excellent panel of whippet specialist judges.
Every year seems to have its special moments, and this year we had some big ones! On Saturday our young Evie showed her way to Best Puppy in Breed in beautiful competition in the whippet ring, went on to be awarded Best Puppy in Hound Group in a group of gorgeous young hounds, and finished the day going BEST PUPPY IN SHOW!!!! The judge was in tears as she addressed the exhibitors, saying she was overwhelmed with the quality of the entry and would have loved to have taken several of the young dogs home, but gave the top honor to the whippet because of her breathtaking movement. I don’t think I could have been any prouder!
The other huge thrill of the weekend came from our new Portuguese import Oscar, who earned TWO back to back major wins, going Best of Winners on Saturday under breeder specialist judge Lisa Costello AND Winner’s Dog on Sunday under hound specialist David Miller, earning 9 points toward his US Championship in a single weekend!!! We couldn’t be happier with this beautiful, sweet boy, and were honoured and thrilled to have him appreciated both by the judges and many other exhibitors over the weekend.
Some of the nicest memories of the weekend have nothing to do with winning; sitting with long time breeders listening to stories about great dogs and founding breeders of days past, sharing stories of how kennel names came to be and discussing how to choose a good sire, handling tips offered at ringside and the lift of friends cheering us on in the group ring made the weekend one to remember, with or without the ribbons. Thankful to have such a great breed community!