Dog show judge Denny Mounce made the trip from balmy Round Top, Texas, where the weather was 82, to Augusta, New Jersey, for the Friday and Saturday Palisades Kennel Club dog shows. The temperature registered a chilly 49F on Saturday afternoon. Because of wind whipping through the showgrounds, it felt much colder. She judged Pembroke Welsh Corgis, then Old English Sheepdogs, the the rest of the Herding breeds.
New Jersey’s Harvest Cluster is one of autumn’s final outdoor shows in the east. The really hot and humid days of September have waned, usually leaving behind mild sun and warm, dry air. Days are shortening. By the time Best in Show came around at 6 pm, the sky had turned to dusky shadows and everyone who didn’t bring their winter coat was shivering.
Friday’s Best in Show went to a Cocker Spaniel, a buff ASCOB (stands for Any Solid Color Other than Black) named Daniel, Ch. Hitrails Clouds In My Eyes. As he flew around the ring, you could almost hear Elton John softly singing, “Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane, I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain, Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye, God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes.” Breeder/owner Kenyon Fairey and handler Per Rismyhr .
Friday’s Best in Show had been planned for an outdoor ring, but because of the cold rain, was shifted to one of the exhibition buildings of the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show Grounds.
The ring steward, Dottie Davis, offered hand warmers to judges Carol Reisman and Honi Reisman. The kind you put in your mittens, if you’re wearing mittens. “This was like spit in the ocean! I told Dottie, we need ones you can wear! We need jackets made out of this stuff!”
Carol Reisman judged Saturday’s Best in Show. The Norwich Terrier and the Xoloitzquintle both caught her eye. But she found herself drawn back again and again to the captivating presence of the Xolo. How did she make her final decision?
Carol said, “It’s simple. Everything about him showed what a Xolo should be… When you looked into his eyes, which are somewhat golden, it was such an eerie feeling. That was it.”
Sunday and Monday were Ramapo Kennel Club’s turn. Club President Jeffrey Ball was pleased to stroll the pleasantly sunny grounds and see heavy coats cast aside. Assistant show chair Sharon Fremer rounded up several breeders for a Sunday noon Meet the Breeds, an event well-loved by local families who came to see the dogs. Before the show was over, she was making plans for an even better event for next year.
Sunday’s entry was 1300. Monday’s entry fell to less than half that, 600, probably reflecting the fact that some people still have to work to earn the money to take their dogs to shows.
Best in Show for both Ramapo shows went to this year’s National Specialty winning Doberman Pinscher, Ch. Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici. Fifi returned home to Ohio with her National Specialty title and twelve all breed BIS, five of them won in the last two months. Fifi is shown by her breeder/owner/handler, Jocelyn Mullins. Way to go! Jocelyn is an inspiration to those who feel shut out of the group placings by professional handlers.