Golden Triangle Kennel Club sees strong turnout at Dog Show

Reign, a papillon from Sioux Falls, South Dakota competed in the dog show hosted by the Golden Triangle Kennel Club of Mississippi Saturday in Sunday. In total, 434 dogs representing close to 150 breeds were in town for the annual event. (Photos by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Staff Writer

Canines of all types, along with their owners and adoring fans converged on Starkville from all across the country for a special event Saturday and today.

The Golden Triangle Kennel Club of Mississippi held its Annual Dog Show opened Saturday, bringing 434 dogs and their handlers to the Mississippi Horse Park. The show was licensed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and consisted of several events including a confirmation competition, with each dog being judged to AKC breed standards. The show also offered competitions in junior showmanship and obedience. Approximately 150 breeds were exhibited, ranging from papillons to bloodhounds.

“The show works a lot like a tournament,” said Golden Triangle Kennel Club of Mississippi member Sarah Lee. “You show in the breed, and then if you win the breed, you go to the group competition, so if you’re a beagle, you go to the hound group competition. If you’re a German shepherd you go to the herding group completion. Then the winner of each of those groups competes for Best in Show.”

This weekend’s show was the 50th held by the club, which has existed since the 1960s, when it started as he Greater Columbus Kennel Club.

“I showed as a junior showman when I was a kid,” Lee said. “I showed a beagle. When I grew up and had children, I wanted to get them into the sport.”

Lee’s 19-year old daughter currently breeds and shows beagles herself.

Chris Manelopoulos of Raleigh, North Carolina was showing his standard poodle, Eli. The dog was named best standard poodle and moved on to the non-sporting group competition. Manelopoulos, who has competed in dog shows for 31 years, said though small, the Starkville show was a well-run event.

“This is probably the fourth time I’ve been to this show in the last 10 years,” Manelopoulos said.

He described what went into preparing his dog for the show, saying it took at least five or six hours of grooming before arriving at the show and close to three hours the morning of the show.

“Originally, I started doing obedience, and I realized I wasn’t very good at obedience, so I moved to showing, and I was a little bit better at that,” Manelopoulos said. “It incorporates obedience training, as well, but not as strict as in obedience. I found I was a better groomer than I was a trainer.”
He said other than the shows and grooming, the life of a show dog was not too different than that of a household pet. However, he said more emphasis is placed on the dog’s fitness since muscle is a major part of breed standards and competition.

“Because he is a top show dog, he has to be in the right muscle, the right weight, so we really monitor his exercising and how his muscles and how his weight is. Those kinds of things,” Manelopoulos said. “He spends a lot of time running and playing to get that good, hard muscle and condition that they look for in the show ring.”

He also lauded the ease of training and temperament of poodles, saying the breed was great with children and a great family pet.

“I always say if you’ve had a poodle, you’ll never have anything else,” Manelopoulous said.