Dog show 2

By Kathryn Menue


From Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17, the Boone County Fairgrounds provided a wagging good time for dogs and people alike, all thanks to the Blackhawk Kennel Club and the Kishwaukee Kennel Club for hosting the 72nd Annual All-Breed Dog Show and the 73rd Annual Junior Showmanship Competition.

According to Lon Hoegberg of the Kishwaukee Kennel Club, the Boone County Fairgrounds has provided the perfect setting for the annual dog shows for over 20 years.

Hoegberg said that the Boone County Fairgrounds works out so well for the Kishwaukee Kennel Club’s dog show “because we’re [the Kishwaukee Kennel Club] in Boone County. We’re a Boone County Club.”

The best way to honor Boone County is to hold the dog show in the heart of Boone County.

So, the Blackhawk Kennel Club kicked off the furry fun with their dog show and junior showmanship competition on Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15. The shows lasted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days. Entry to view the Blackhawk Kennel Club dog shows was $5 per car each day.

Dog show 5The canine pageantry continued on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 with the Kishwaukee Kennel Club’s dog show and junior showmanship competition. The shows lasted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days. Entry to view the Kishwaukee Kennel Club dog shows was $5 per car each day.

Both kennel club dog shows featured about 123 different thoroughbred dog breeds featuring breeds from the Afghan to the Yorkshire terrier to the Irish wolfhound to the Chihuahua.

Each breed competed in their own separate class.

For some, it was an easy run in the breed competitions because some breeds didn’t have any competition.

Some breeds that had no competition were the English mastiff, the Chow Chow, and the Chinese sharpei.

Comic, a 9-month-old, Chinese sharpie was the winner for his category, since he was the only competitor.

Simone Beazly, Comic’s owner, has been showing dogs for about 30 years and has attended the Blackhawk Kennel and Kishwaukee Kennel’s dog shows “on and off” for about the past six years.

“I started before we were AKC,” Beazly said.

Dog show 3However, she only competes when she has a dog willing to do competition, so if they don’t like the show life, she won’t compete.

Michelle Biglow, of Watertown, Wis., lets the animals speak for themselves, as well. She has competed in dog show competitions for 11 years.

Biglow attended the Blackhawk Kennel Club’s dog show on Thursday to show her two huskies: Hoshi (Beast) and Sakura. The huskies are 2-year-old sisters.

Biglow has shown Hoshi since she was a puppy, but Sakura has only competed in two shows, to see if she gets a feel for it.

“We’ll see how she does,” Biglow said.

Biglow said that Blackhawk Kennel Club’s dog show provided the perfect atmosphere for the dogs, since it was in a small, welcoming environment.

“I like that it’s nice and quiet [since] it is during weekdays,” Biglow said.

Other handlers love the close-knit atmosphere as well.

John Benoit, a dog show handler for 30 years, said he has attended the dog shows at the Boone County Fairgrounds for a number of years. He especially loves the location since it is only 30 minutes from his house, but he travels all across the country for dog shows including ones in Denver, Colo. and in Florida.

He showed multiple dogs including a husky and a 2-year-old, Dalmatian named Nate.

Dog show 4After dogs competed in their separate breed categories, winners moved onto their specified groups, such as: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding.

From there, winners moved onto the Best in Show competition.

The dogs who won first place in each category moved on to compete in the Best in Show competition.

Best in show winners received $150 cash, a red, white, and blue rosette, and a shadow box to display the rosette.

Reserve best in show winners received $25 cash and a yellow and white ribbon.

First place in each variety group received $50 cash.

First place through fourth place winners in variety groups received different colored rosettes.

Each of the hosting kennel clubs also had junior showmanship competitions, where youth had the chance to exhibit their dogs in the ring.

Winners from the Junior Showmanship Competition received prizes such as rosettes, trophies, and gift cards.

The weekend also showcased the AKC national Owner Handled Series and the Bred-By-Exhibitor Challenge.

Winners from the AKC National Owner Handled Series and Bred-By-Exhibitor Challenge received prizes such as decorative bowls and serving platters and other cookware to awards and medallions.

To adequately judge all of the competitors and choose a winner for the numerous competitions, Blackhawk and Kishwaukee Kennel Clubs recruited 19 judges to cover every aspect of competition. Judges came from all of the United States including Janet Allen from California to Cindy Meyer form Cherry Valley.

Twenty minutes after the Best in Show competition ended on Sunday, July 17, exhibitors had the chance to join a discussion forum on the sport of dog shows. The forum was entitled, Keeping Our Boat Afloat: A Round Table Discussion Regarding Our Sport.

The discussion provided exhibitors the time to share ideas about how to keep the dog show sport “strong and active.” The meeting lasted one hour and 15 minutes featuring a “Creative Thinking” session along with a “Not a Bitch Session.”

Discussion ensued about each topic as exhibitors enjoyed pizza courtesy of Blackhawk and Kishwaukee Kennel Clubs.

For more information on the discussion, please contact Cindy Meyer at (815) 332-4848 or by email at

If dog shows and discussion forums weren’t enough, the dog shows also included vendors on site selling canine essentials like leashes, collars, and beds.

Other vendors were there to support dog health, like Pure Pup LLC., which dedicated its services to Advanced Reproductive Technologies to help canines through the purebred breeding process.

For more information on the dog shows, please visit




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