I didn't make it to last year's ASSA Nationals, so with the last minute decision to go, I was really looking forward to the trip, seeing all the dogs, and of course new and old friends alike. The National traditionally rotates around the U.S., and this year was held at the Event Center at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri. It was a spectacular location, on more than 300 square miles of rolling landscape, with the event center itself set at its highest point. It was an impressive facility, and I believe unique in it's dedication and purpose to being as congenial as possible to dogs and dog lovers alike.
Here's the main entrance to the building, hard to miss from the main grounds below.
This poodle topiary stood in welcome at the entrance.
This was the view from one end of the main room toward the partition which encompassed the large grooming area and on the other side, the very ample show ring and seating. There was also another large room for grooming on the other side of the centralized cafeteria.
There were a number of vendors with a variety of goods, from fine jewellery to dog food. Keeping watch in this booth is "Pinta", Diane Troese' lovely bitch "Ch Emprise Silver Lining" (4th place in the very tough 9-12 Years Veteran Bitches class).
On the other side of the partition, things were run pretty much the same as most other dog shows. This is a small sampling of one of the males-only cuts in the Best of Breed competition. Mark McMillan is centred with Am/Can Ch Grandgables The Frat Boy, who went on to garner an Award of Merit (and also happens to be the sire of our two youngest hopefuls ).
The show ring wasn't all about serious competition. This is local handler Cheryl Pike with "Shelamo Flash Forward" from the Lynch's in Smiths Falls, Ontario in the 6-9 month sable Puppy Bitch class. There was a 60's dress competition, the fun garb lightening the mood for the opening classes of the week long show.
Always time for hugs for your best guy ... Jennie Hynes and GrCh Rosmoor Protocol ROMC, in the Best of Breed competition.
Can you ever have too much fun? Susie Beacham and "Ticker", AOM winner "Am Ch Dan Dee One from the Heart".
This boy must have inherited the "fun gene" from his maternal grandsire Ticker! Susie Beacham and her 6 to 9 month old sable class winner, by Am/Can Ch Braeleen Let Freedom Ring, "Wistwin Shalamar Coeur d'Alene" - "Lane". His dam, Wistwin Tickertape, won the Brood Bitch class.
I was fortunate to have the chance to do some photos of Lane and his brother Quinn. These youngsters and their equally handsome brother Sunny were bred by Dianne Hawes (Wistwin). After the more traditional portrait shots were done, the boys just had to unwind!