The NSC on tour in Albuquerque 2006
Vicki Sharp writes: “When Alan Lake was due to judge the Saluki Club of America’s 25th Western regional Specialty in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, a handful of members from the NSC, namely myself, my husband Andrew, Rosie Lewis, Pip Buswell and Roy Goodby, decided that it would be a great excuse to get a way for a few days and give him and his wife Sally some good old British support at the ringside and also to get a look at the American Salukis. In fact Andrew and I were already holidaying in South West America at the time of the show and so for us it was simply a matter of a mere 1000 mile round trip detour in the middle of our three week tour to join in the fun. However, for some of the other intrepid travellers it was hard going travelling from the UK to Albuquerque for just a week.
Albuquergue also hosts a hot air balloon fiesta each October which was on whilst we were there. What an amazing sight to get up in the morning and see dozens and dozens of hot air balloons just filling the sky.
The Saluki Club held a gathering on the evening before the show where exhibitors and visitors met up to enjoy drinks and nibbles and generally catch up with those they hadn’t seen for a while. There were also one or two fun events which took place to get the festivities under way.
On the day of the show the weather was hot and sunny with not a cloud in the sky – lovely for the sun worshippers but not so great for the dogs. Fortunately, the secretary’s table and trophy table were under a canvas canopy which ran the length of one side of the ring and so the dogs and exhibitors were able to stand in the shade whilst awaiting their turn for judging. As the show was held on the playing fields of a sports complex in Rio Rancho, Albuquerque natural shade was pretty much non-existent and so it was good to see that there was another covered area where spectators and exhibitors could sit in comfort out of the baking sun. Many exhibitors had also erected their own little gazebos to shelter themselves and their dogs from the sun. This all seemed to add to the atmosphere of the show with people mingling in and out of each other’s shelters. A gazebo seems to be an essential addition to dog show equipment in the sunnier climates not just the canvas dog crates that exhibitors use over here. That said, we hardly have need for such extravagant equipment on this side of the pond anyway.
Show judging began at 7.30am with the sweepstake classes (and we think that Championship shows start early!). Then, as is the tradition, in the US, the main show opened with the playing of the national anthem and this was followed by the British national anthem as a welcome gesture for the English judge. Alan’s judging commenced at 10.00 and finished around 18.30. It was a long day for Alan in the centre of the ring in all that sun and heat but he coped admirably and in fact seemed to positively thrive on it.
On the day there were 176 dogs making 249 entries. This was reported to be the largest entry for this show and in the end the final winners were as follows:
Winners Bitch, Best of Winners and BOB David and Fiona Bennett’s 2 ½ yr old bitch Al Sayad Ace Athena (Ch Bel S’mbran Darby Sterling Silver Rose x Burydown Vogue D’Al Sayad.
Winners Dog: Terry Smith & Dan Bunn’s 3 ½ yr old Ramazahn Renegade (Abaquero TSH Beretta X Ramazahn Rebellion).
Best of Opposite Sex: Joel E Scheinberg & Nathalie J Warner’s 4 ½ yr old dog Ch Owl Ridge High Rustler (Ch Moshire RFR Red Sky x Bagdad Almost an Angel).
The day was a very social event with lots of introductions and many questions about the English Salukis and how they compare to American dogs. A very nice lunch was available and in the evening a dinner was held and delicious food served at a nearby hotel where the gathering on the previous evening had taken place. There were also items auctioned during the evening but many of them were too big for overseas visitors to get home. We met lots of very nice and very interesting people from all over America at the show. People think nothing to travelling vast distances to enter and show their dogs. Indeed, a week after this show we attended a show in Northern Carolina with some Beagle friends and went to search out the Saluki ring only to find some of the same exhibitors were there also.
We met a lot of lovely people and saw some very nice dogs during our stay in Albuqerque. Rosie, Pip and Roy spent a few days after the show with friends attending lure coursing events and by all accounts they had a terrific time. The Americans have so much more open space in which to let their dogs run. What a sight to see!
I think I can safely say that a great time was had by all when the Northern Saluki Club went on tour. However, I also think that some just might have second thoughts in future before making such a trip again”.
Images from the Show