The boys and I went on a road trip to Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO for the Ibizan Hound National Specialty! We have never been to any specialty dog show before, much less the National Specialty, so I was pretty nervous. While the specialty/supported entries started on Tuesday with Agility, Rally, and Scentwork, I chose to keep my entries to a minimum to help avoid too much stress on me and the boys. Fable was entered in conformation on Thursday (the National Specialty) and Friday (supported entry), as well as both AKC (Friday) and ASFA (Saturday) Lure Coursing. Json was entered in just conformation for the National Specialty in the 4-6 month Beginner Puppy (BPUP) competition since he wasn't 6 months old yet.
Thursday: Json showed first in BPUP and did very well! He took everything in stride and was very good for the exam and gaiting. I need to remember to ease him into gaiting due to his age and size at the moment. While he didn't win, he did come in 3rd (if I'm remembering correctly). I'm very proud of how well he handled his first 'real' show! Fable was several classes later in Open Smooth Dogs (the coat types aren't normally split, but they were for the specialty and supported entry on Friday). Fable showed SO well and won his class! Fable moved so well and was a gentleman for the exam. He didn't take Winners Dog (WD) so no points, but I'm happy that he was so happy in the ring! I ended up showing a friend's wire special bitch, Kitty, in several classes as well and learned a lot from that (though my feet were less happy about the extra running!)
Friday: Fable was entered in the supported entry (again in Open Smooth Dog) and placed 3rd in his class. He showed very well and handled the environment and waiting so well! Waiting to go into the ring has been a long standing struggle for Fable so having him be able to wait and keep his brain cell was awesome! I also showed Kitty again in the Best Of Breed (BOB) ring and she did well! After showing we RAN over to where they were doing health testing to get Fable's Auscultation done before Lure Coursing (we had a 45 minute window!). Thankfully, we were able to get Fable in pretty quickly and he passed with flying colors! One more health test down! Once Fable was done with his heart exam I did a camping quick change, pottied Json, loaded the car, and zipped off to Lure Coursing. Thankfully the field wasn't too hard to find, though we were parked farther away than is ideal for Fable (he is a handful to take to the line). There were enough Open dogs to split the stake into 3, 5pt major stakes. Fable came in 2nd and earned another 3 points. Fable just needs one major to finish his AKC Field Championship title!
Saturday: Today we only had ASFA Lure Coursing with Fable, but since the trial wouldn't start until after conformation, I watched the breed competition. Unfortunately, my foot was done with the extra running and I wasn't able to show Kitty. Thankfully, with so many wonderful Beezer folks around, Kitty found a new handler easily! Once breed was done, we went back down to the coursing field. We were just 3 dogs shy of being able to split the open stake so had 17 dogs competing for the 4 point earning placements! Fable ran well and again took 2nd for 30 points and another competition win! He is a little over halfway to his ASFA Field Championship and needs a first place with competition and points. Fable also won the Performance Stake, which is an extra class for dogs who have titles outside of Lure Coursing titles. Fable needed the highest score of the dogs entered in the Performance Stake to win! I'm very proud of how well he did considering the field. Json also had the opportunity to do a puppy run and had a blast! He shows a ton of promise as a coursing dog!
Overall, we had a fantastic time and had so much fun meeting so many Ibizan Hound folks! Fable and especially Json did SO incredibly well with everything going on and the massive change in routine! They both took everything in stride! One of my favorite non-dog parts was the sticker exchange we did. It was a fun testament to how much everyone loves the breed! I am excited to go back next year, even if my wallet isn't!