Dogs, owners vie for top canine
A PACKED schedule of seven competitions in five days has helped attract more than 1500 pure pedigree dogs and their owners to a combined canine carnival in Grafton this week.
This year's event held at the Grafton greyhound track has included the annual fixture of the Bonville Kennel Club, making it the biggest dog show outside metropolitan areas, according to Clarence Dog Sport president Jerry Faber.
“Because Easter was late, our event clashed with Bonville's, so we decided to hold them at the same time up here in Grafton,” Mr Faber said. “It's our biggest event by far.”
Mr Faber estimates the event will have brought $4 million to $5 million in revenue to the area. “The camp ground here was booked out three months ago, and people have overflowed to the local hotels and motels,” he said.
Together with the events at the Maclean Show earlier this week, both local and interstate breeders have had the chance to attend seven competitions in five days.
It has been an opportunity to collect enough competition points to earn their pooches the coveted ‘champion' status.
“Every time you win a category you get six points, as well as a point for each dog you beat. You need a 100 to be a champion,” said Mr Faber.
The competition is fierce and taken very seriously. Even though prizewinners don't collect money, accolades help them to promote their breeding enterprises.
The shows have also focused on specialty best of breed sections.
The overall aim of pedigree dog showing is to improve the various dog breeds, said Janine Glenn, Bonville Kennel Club president.
The dog show has been running since Thursday and will include a full schedule today, including the fancy dress parade for both owners and dogs about 1pm.
A vast array of breeds is on show, including hounds, kelpies, gun dogs, toy or ‘lap' dogs and workers. Competition is across five rings and starts at 8.30am. Floodlights have been installed to accommodate early evening competition.
“We only show pure pedigree dogs by registered breeders,” said Ms Glenn.
“Yes, it certainly can be true that owners look like their dogs.
“People pick their breeds.”