So I've been gone since Friday, out of town to Alpharetta, GA for my first ever labrador retriever specialty show.
I had a great time for the most part. The atmosphere was soooo much more relaxed than an all-breed show. People show their dogs in jeans and sneakers. I think there were 2 handlers there out of everyone showing dogs... and they only showed a couple of dogs. So virtually everyone there was showing dogs they either owned or had bred, and thus, the wins seemed far more personal. The judges were both from the United Kingdom, and are also judges in Great Britain's The Kennel Club.
I saw some of the most amazing labrador retrievers I've ever seen in my life. The entry was HUGE. I think there were more than 300+ labs entered for shows on Saturday and Sunday, not including the puppies people brought.
I am totally not a fan of chocolate labs, I find their pink eye rims and noses weird looking, but one of my favorite dogs was a 6-9 month old puppy named Dooney. She was such a dark shade of chocolate, she looked almost black... like hershey's special dark chocolate. She got Winners B both Saturday and Sunday, and then got Best of Winner's on Saturday as well.
I went to the show with my breeder, Kaye, and a friend who has a yellow lab named Dawson. Kaye also took Ellie and Buddy, two of Riddik's littermates, and his mother, who was entered in the brood b*tch class.
Ridd*ick didn't do anything all weekend, he was in Open Dogs, Black and competing against 9 other dogs, all but one of whom had far more 'body' and 'substance' than he did. My hope was that we'd ocme home with at least one ribbon, but alas, it was not to be. Which is fine, against 9 other dogs (They only place 1st through 4th), some of which were from some of the best lab breeders in the US, it would have been nearly a miracle for him to get anything. I should have entered him in American Bred, which would have been a smaller class and more forgiving of his age, but alas, hindsight. But he showed well, especially today, in the pouring rain (it rained all morning at the show). He just needs to put on more weight. Apparently I'm so paranoid about him getting fat that he's actually a little on the thin side (and you really can feel his ribs).
His sister Ellie and Buddy were both entered in the Bred-by-exhibitor classes appropriate to their sex/color, Ellie got 4th place Saturday and unplaced Sunday. Buddy got 4th on Saturday and 2nd on Sunday.
I think the coolest was that Chassis, their mother, was in the Brood B*tch entry. What they do there is they take a female dog, and then in the ring with her are at least 2 (and as many as 6) of her offspring. The mother dog is examined and evaluated as are her offspring. She is judged based on the quality and consistency of her offspring (in this case, we took Buddy and Ridd*ck in the ring with her as they are very similar in conformation). Anyway Chassis got 1st place both days (out of 3 other dogs) and the judge told Kaye that Chassis had done very very well in producing the two boys shown with her. So my breeder was thrilled with that.
Anyway, I'm exhausted. Hope you have all enjoyed the update :) Our next shows are at the end of March in Newnan, GA. The entry will be much smaller, so hopefully the outcome will be better.
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
Glad you had a good time. Better luck at the next show. The last time I saw a picture of Ridd*ck he didn't look too thin to me. Do they just want them a little chunkier in the ring? He's such a handsome dog.