Saturday, October 11, 2014


Best of Breed - Dogs
Last day of the National and the crowd is rolling in early.  Bart (The Judge) Bartley showed up in an electric Blue Suit - looks very dapper.  I talked to Gary Szymczak, and he said that Bart asked if he should still do the dearly departed since he is judging.  Gary insisted that he do it since they have been doing it together for so many years.
We had some confusion at the start.  Gail had the opening ceremony planned; but Bart changed it.  After about 10 iterations, it ended up mostly how Gail intended.  The stands are almost full.  First Gary & Bart did the dearly departed, followed by the presentation of the Obedience Victrix.  Then they brought all of the Dog specials in the ring.  After all the dogs were in the ring, they dimmed the lights, and played a video of Don Smith singing the National Anthem from 1992(?).  It ended to a big round of applause from the crowd, and a lot of barking from the dogs in the ring.
They turned the lights back up, and Bart asked for the microphone.  He said 3 things would negatively impact your dog: (1) doubling/interfering during the temperament test; (2) not showing him a loose lead; and (3) unsportsmanlike conduct.  They are in catalog order, but with a little swapping based on handlers.  40 dogs are here, and Bart divided them into 5 groups of 8.  He said he would allow handlers to swap until he gets down to 20 (probably have all in the ring at that point).  Karen Wagner keeps the first group in the ring, and asks the rest to leave.
It is 8:40am; the formalities are done; and the show begins.  The first group is in and Bart is settling into a routine.  He checks with Bob Lindsey a few times to make sure everything is getting on the video and goes to work.  Some nice applause for each dog, but not much excitement (yet).  Bart left all the dogs in the order they started.  Bart has his notepad out; makes a few final notes; one more time around; and time for Group 2.
The stands are full, but not much hollering - I think everyone is waiting for individuals to finish and for the jockeying for position to start.  Bart has finished with Group 2 and is now working on Group 3.  A little more excitement in Group 3; but not much.  And now Group 4 comes in the ring, a lap around, individuals, another lap, some notes, and out they go.  The excitement in the crowd is building with each group.  And the last group comes in the ring.  The is the group with the Winners Dog and Veterans.  The crowd is really coming alive now, with extra applause for the Veterans.  More notes, a final lap, and that finishes the last group.
And now the fun begins.  It's about 10:30 and you can tell, things are going to move fast.  The first group is back in the ring.  Bart asks for one lap around SLOW.  No one was slow, did I did see quite a few loose leads.  From the first group Bart pulls out 563 Razzle Dazzle, 564 Morocco, 565 Captain America, 574 Grayson (and sets the other 4 to the side).  In comes the second group, one lap around, and Bart pulls out 566 Trust U With My Heart, 573 Player, 578 Rocco, 599 Black Bart.  Now for the third group; Bart pulls out 582 Ya Gotta Know, 583 Thunder Road, 584 Jaeger, 585 Man U Man, 561 Harry.  Fourth group and Bart pulls out 600 Kirk, 601 Showlow, 602 All That Matters.  And the last group is in and Bart pulls out 604 Malawi, 607 Expresso, and 336 Quincy (Winners Dog).  Now Bart pulled out all the "set aside" dogs and looks them over.  He has each do one lap around.  Each gets some applause, and each looks like a champion; not not necessarily a Grand Victor (in Bart's Opinion).  Bart pulls out 572 Fermare, 593 Under Siege, 594 Gambit Krug  and adds to the "keeper" pile.  The rest are dismissed.  The veterans get a little extra applause, but leave with the rest.
We are now down to 22.  Bart has pulled all of the handler together in a huddle and giving them some additional instructions.  He is keeping the first 8 to look at again; and keeps 4; 564, 565, 574, 599.  He looks at the second group and keeps 5; 582, 584, 585, 561, 601.  He looks at the third group and keeps 4; 602, 604, 336, 594.  He is now down to 13.  He has been weeding down, but has not yet started to place them.  He is cutting the group in half for the next phase.  Bart looks at the first group, but no movement yet.  He brings in the second group.  I have been talking to Patty Szymczak about Select Excellent - 5 of the 13 in the ring qualify.  Bart has looked at both groups, made some more notes; and brings the entire group together.  Bart has each go around one at a time, and lots of crowd support for each one. 
Bart checks his notes one more time.  And then starts placing.  561 Harry, 602 All That Matters, 604 Malawi, 564 Morroco, 565 Captain America, 599 Black Bart, 585 Man U Man, 574 Grayson, 336 Quincy, 584 Jaeger, 601 Showlow, 582 Ya Gotta Know, 594 Gambit.  It looks like he is keeping all 13.   Bart looks at the last four and moved up 582.  Bart looks at the next 3 and moves up 336 Quincy.  Bart looks at the next 3 and moves up 599 & 565.  Bart then looks at his top 4.  561 Harry is in front and has lots of crowd support.  Next is 602 All That Matters with equal crowd support.  Third is 604 Malawi with support (but not as much as the first two).  Bart moves All That Matters to the front and the crowd goes wild.  Bart brings the whole group back together - he may be done . . . and yes, that's how they finish.
Nothing for Kierk, but he made the first cut.