LETHBRIDGE - The Lethbridge and District Kennel Club is hosting their annual Obedience and Conformation shows this coming weekend (Nov. 17, 18, 19).
The event is sanctioned by the Canadian Kennel Club and will be taking place at Exhibition Park. On Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18 the shows will open at 8 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. On Sunday, Nov. 19 things get underway at 9 a.m. and wrap up at 3 p.m.
Admission is $5 per person, and anyone under 12 years of age who's accompanied by a parent gets in for free. Show officials are expecting 300 dogs from all over Canada and the U.S.
The Obedience and Rally trials are big spectator draws as both classes take a lot of training. Conformation is where people will be able to see many different breeds of dogs being judged compared to that breed's standard.
Evelyn Sera, one of the organizers, says the shows are made possible thanks to a Community Event Support Grant from the City of Lethbridge.
"There will be some changes this year, including that we've been approved to have two All Breed Shows on Friday," Sera continued. "That means for the first time the Lethbridge and District Kennel Club will be offering four All Breed Shows over the weekend."
They will be awarding Reserve Best in Show, as well as Best in Show once per show for a total of four this year. Special recognition will also be given to their veteran dogs (dogs over seven years of age) in each breed. Best Veteran in Show will also be handed out on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, they will also be giving recognition to their Baby Puppies (puppies between three and six months of age) in each breed, group and Best Puppy in Show will also be handed out on Saturday and Sunday.
Sera says they're up about 75 dogs per day, so the interest is there from competitors and they expect it will be from spectators too.
But as in everything in this day and age, Sera added expenses have increased and they are thankful for the support they've received from Exhibition Park and the city.
"We had to keep costs in mind when booking the building, and when looking at the bottom line we decided to apply for the community grant from the city and we were approved. It's greatly appreciated to have them supporting us," Sera said.
There's a few other events planned for the weekend, including:
- Juvenile sweepstakes for dogs between three months and 18 months of age which will take place on Friday following best in show.
- The Junior Handling competition will be at lunch time on Saturday for children between the ages of six and 18 where they'll be judged on their handling of a dog in the breed ring.
- Scenthurdle Racing will so be offered on Saturday night, which past show goers have described as an exciting relay race between teams of dogs.
The Lethbridge and District Kennel Club was originally started back in 1960 by four dedicated people, and as it grew the LDKC was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1962. Over the years the club has continued to hire Canadian Kennel Club approved dog judges, and exhibiters from across Western Canada to have all of their dogs evaluated.
Sera says that's the case again this year, with a pair of judges coming in from Ontario.
"It's another one of our major expenses, judges come from all over Canada but especially when we have judges coming from out east, there's a significant cost for us there," Sera added.
Sera finished by mentioning the calendar year for competitors wraps up in December, so this will be an important event for those participating.
For more information you can head to their website here.
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