WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF SHOWS IN SOUTH AFRICA ?
These are usually annual events hosted by All-breeds (all seven groups), Group (one group or part group) or Specialty (one breed) clubs that attract exhibitors from around the country. To make it worthwhile for travellers, two or more clubs often present back-to-back shows over the same weekend. These shows are advertised in schedules (programmes) published in the KUSA Gazette ( Dogs in Africa ) as well as this and other websites. (See the Show Guide for a list of show schedules). You have to submit your entries and pay your entry fees to the club secretaries by the closing date, which is usually about six weeks before the show. Only registered dogs are accepted, and transfer of ownership needs to have been completed.
It is at championship shows that points towards a dog's championship are awarded by means of Challenge Certificates. Group wins and points awarded for Best of Breed are also officially recorded and announced on this website and in various publications. When a serious exhibitor 'campaigns' a dog, the dog is entered in as many championship shows around the country as possible in the hopes that the points awarded will accumulate on the various rating systems such as KUSA Showdog of the Year, Animaltalk Top 100 and Showdogs/Eukanuba Puppy of the Year. Many people attend shows every single weekend in the hopes of winning one of these prestigious accolades.
Judges at championship shows have to be qualified and have proven experience. Many clubs try to bring out overseas judges - at great expense - which usually serves as a great drawcard.
Puppies' age limit at championship shows is six months.
Non-championship (open) shows
Clubs host one or two non-championship (open) shows a year in addition to the championship show. As the name implies, there are no championship points on offer at these shows. They are typically smaller, more informal events and there is no need to enter weeks in advance - you simply enter on the day of the show. Only the barest details are required on the entry form, so you can enter an unregistered dog, as long as it is purebred. Puppies of four months old may enter the show (in the Baby Puppy class).
Open shows are often used as a training ground for championship shows - novice handlers, new dogs, puppies, and learner judges all 'cut their teeth' at this type of show. Everyone is extremely helpful and tolerant towards novices and you won't find it difficult to pick up lots of advice.
When a new club is formed, it needs to ‘prove' itself at three successive open shows where the minimum number of exhibits must be attained. When all criteria have been met, a club is permitted to host a qualifying show, which acts as a ‘dress rehearsal' for holding championship shows. All rules and regulations governing championship shows apply at qualifying shows and exhibitors must enter before a closing date. Instead of awarding Championship Certificates (CCs), however, a Best Dog and Best Bitch are awarded. If all criteria are met at this qualifying show, the club will be permitted to host a championship show and two open shows annually from then onwards.
In addition to the regular championship and open shows on the calendar, there are a number of annual special shows and invitational events. Some of these have a paid entry, while some require certain qualifying criteria. To qualify for one of these prestigious events is a worthy honour, and to go on to win at one of them is an unsurpassed thrill.
© Joy McFarlane : SHOWDOGS