Orlando Cluster 2008
Purina®, Central Florida KC, Space Coast KC of Palm Bay and Brevard KC at Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, FL (Group show results below.)
December 12th - 14th
Pam Porter, SE Region Reporter/Photographer
Orlando became the county seat In 1856, first incorporated on July 31 ,1875 with an area of 4 square miles and then as a city in 1885. Today Orlando is an area of over 100 square miles, still located entirely within Orange County. Recent growth is partly attributable to nearby Disney World so plan an extra day to visit there during the winter shows. Too hot to leave dogs in a vehicle during the summer. New to Orlando's many tourist attractions is Aquatica, an up close animal experience with high speed thrills and wide sandy beaches. The first water park to open in Orlando in 12 years, it features 36 water slides, six rivers and lagoons.
But this weekend Orlando was full of dogs, bringing in a lot of revenue as the Space Coast Kennel Club, Central Florida KC and Brevard KC held their last shows for 2008. Entries were down a little. People were talking about the lack of people in the Central Florida Fairgrounds. The Clubs did an outstanding job of providing for the exhibitors but since it was windy and cold (for Florida), only a few tourist found their way to the show site.
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Dr. Billy Austin has been the on site Veterinarian for the last five years . Retired after 37 years treating his Miami patients, Dr Austin was available to answer the many dog related questions and concerns.
Onofrio Dog Shows employees drove 1300 miles to be at this cluster. Jack and Dorothy Onofrio began their little business over 40 years ago in Oklahoma City, OK. It is a family run business to this day, but has expanded to over 120 shows a year. Reggie Turner (L) lives in Oklahoma City and has worked for Onofrio over 10 years. He was an all breed handler, but Onofrio Inc has a policy that no employee may own , handle or enter a dog show. Crew member, Todd Gilley (R) has been with Onofrio for 2 yrs and loves to be "on the road again".
They were hand made by Kathy Gilchrest who is so talented and does many crafts. Kathy is also the corresponding secretary and trophy chairman for Central Florida Kennel Club, moving to Orlando from Utica, NY in 1968. She was also taking orders to make personalized notebooks. I'm thinking of how I want my notebook made!
Winner Pix Photography, owned by Tammy Wilkerson with assistant Rick Ortega has been taking dog show photos for several years and lives in North Carolina. Rick lives in Jacksonville, FL and will be assisting at the Brooksville Circuit. He took up dog show photography 25 years ago and travels to over 60 shows a year. How many times have you returned your photo because it was not a good photo of your dog.? FYI, communicate with your photographer as to what you want featured because they want to take the best photo of your dog to show what you want seen.
Judge Frank L. McCartha from SC judged all three days but we heard Mrs. McCarthy is ill. We hope she regains her health in speedy fashion as they are a devoted couple and share interest in both the dogs and in their very successful Miniature Horse farm. He was kind and humorous, putting exhibitors at ease. Exclusive interview here...
With their traditional red jackets, the Southeastern Stewards Association were in charge of keeping the flow of the judging going for three days. Lead Steward for the cluster was Tom Grinels, from Palm City, FL. The SESA has about 75 members and is one of two Steward Clubs in Florida. If you have ever thought that it seemed like many stewards are seniors, you are correct. Their expenses to travel to the shows, staying in hotels and food is all paid by the individual so don't quit your day job to be a ring steward. Tom decided to be a ring steward because his 16 yr old daughter loves to show their Australian Sheperds so they go to the shows anyway. He is never assigned a ring Lindsey will be in. The Herding Group was in the ring as we chatted, that is until Lindsey won the group! Then Tom was speechless!
Buying his first Whippet from long time Whippet breeder, Calvin Perry, with whom he still has a dog partnership, Justin Smithy began showing at age 19. He now owns a boarding, grooming and doggie day care in Sugar Valley, GA. Justin was an assistant to now AKC rep Mary Dukes and assisted Carol Harris of Bo Bett Italian greyhounds and Whippets, as well as being a professional handler. Justin enjoys interaction with the dogs and the many people he has met over the last six years.
Best Jr Handler Sunday was 16 yr old, Basenji owner Cali Shattuck. Cali began showing at 13 in the breed ring as well as Junior. She loves the dog shows, and plans to attend The University of Florida and get a degree in Architecture. Cali is presently #2 Florida Junior Handler, and hopes to qualify for Westminster in 2010. Cali will be in Brooksville, assisting, Golden Retriever owner Amy Booth, and specialing her Basenji, Nile.
Wishing all readers and family good health and much happiness - Pam Porter
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