The Great Texas Road Trip

Texas does for Texas so the saying goes.  But that didn’t stop us from traveling 13 hours to the Ft. Worth Kennel Club shows this past weekend.  The Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Texas held their annual specialty on Friday with two all breed shows following.  There were 20 Kerries entered and 19 showed up.  We brought our Bedlington, Ch. Velvety Quarterback Sneak (Peyton) and the new Kerry puppy Tontine’s Chance Redemption (Danny).  This was one of the most relaxing, no pressure weekends we’ve had in a while.

We set up in the Swine Barn right next to the Sheep Barn right next to the Small Exhibits building where we showed all three days.  Our Cairn friend Kari, set up next to us.  Kari is an ex-professional handler who actually won the Texas Specialty in 1996 with my Kerry.  She now has Cairn Terriers and had two nice males with her.  The Cairn people were nice, but it had to annoy them that she won the breed on the third day with a dog she finished by winning the Cairn specialty in Detroit a couple of weeks before and also finished a 10 month old male owned by her father by going winners dog everyday at these shows.

Kari and Woody
Kari and Woody

Kari expects to win with everything she shows or she wouldn’t show it, she says.  She also hijacked our new puppy.  She had the misfortune to take him back into the ring for BOB at the February shows and like it.  She told us she was going to show him this Texas weekend, too. 

 It’s easy to get excited about a new puppy.  All puppies have so much promise and they are bright and happy to show.  Over time some of them break down mentally and some go on to mediocre show careers and some go on to greatness.  You never know which one you have, but you hope for the great one.  Actually on this weekend I handled Danny the first day for Sweeps and Regular Classes.  I was best puppy in the sweeps, not too impressive really when you know there were only three puppies entered.  Danny was reserve after a close duel for winners dog.  The winners dog that day was a Spanish import and was moved up, thus breaking the major in dogs for the rest of the weekend.  There was a bitch major, though.

The bitch major broke when the owner of two of the bitches, a long-time breeder-owner-handler, pulled them to concentrate on her male special.  Both bitches were in season and too distracting for the male to show.  He did show better the day the girls weren’t around. 

The third day, however, she put one of the bitches back in and we had a bitch major.  We were very lucky that Danny was crossed over for his first major.  The nice thing was that he was so well received by the other exhibitors.  These people have been in the breed as long as we have and their praise of Danny meant a lot.

Kari and Danny
Kari and Danny

All the Texas Kerry club members were very friendly and put on a great BBQ and auction.  We were at these shows about five years ago and we had just as much fun this time as then.  We did more winning this year.  There were ten of the nineteen dogs entered that were either imported or had one imported parent.  We are not big fans of the foreign dogs. To us the movement is not as good as the dogs in this country and generally they have exaggerated heads and necks with mis-matched fronts and rears.  The dog that won at these shows two days is an exception to this, however.  The one good contribution the imported dogs have made to our breed in the last five years or so is a stabilization of size.  Kerries used to fluctuate between well over the 19 1/2 inch standard for dogs to just under the 17 1/2 inch size for bitches on the low end.  Some years a dog couldn’t be too big and the next only the little ones were winning.  Now you see dogs of a more uniform size, well within the standard.  

It’s great to see dogs in a different part of the country instead of the usual suspects we see around home.  By the end of the weekend we felt like Texans ourselves.

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