Fuji Park’s gone to the dogs
With $1 million or more claimed for the area economy, the Bonanza Kennel Club of Carson City’s 24th annual dog show was declared a big hit Saturday by the woman in charge.
“It has been a great show,” said Candy Roper of Carson City, club president and show chair. “We’ve had some good entries. They’re from all over the United States.”
Roper spoke even before the halfway point had been reached, saying 957 dogs were entered in the two-day event at Fuji Park.
“People don’t realize it’s this big out here,” she said, adding that the American Kennel Club figures 1.74 visitors attend for every dog entered in a show.
“Our show brings at least $1 million to Carson City,” Roper said, noting the AKC estimates dog shows all across Nevada account for $8.2 million for the Silver State economy. Roper added that doesn’t include gaming revenue that may swell the total.
It isn’t about the money, however; it’s about the dogs and the owners who bring them.
Just ask Wendy Peirce of Reno and Cindi Pike of Sacramento, Calif., owners of Rhodesian Ridgebacks dogs competing Saturday and set to go into show competition again this morning.
Peirce’s dog is Pinotage, named after a South African red wine, but her 16-month old Ridgeback answers to the nickname “Taji.” Pike’s dog, Bromley, will be four on Nov. 23 and was declared “Winner’s Dog” Saturday. That means he was the top male in his group.
“He is my heart,” Pike said. “This dog is my ‘best in show’ every day of my life.”
Peirce indicated she feels strongly about Taji as well despite “mixed results” during shows. She said Taji has always come in fourth or above, but admitted the mixed results weren’t solely due to the young dog.
“I didn’t socialize her in the show ring early enough,” Peirce said, “so she’s a little bit timid.”
Peirce was proud of both her dog and her friend’s Bromley, saying: “Bromley is like, ‘Mr. Showman’.”
The two women met at a dog show two or three years ago, their friendship obvious and loyalty to the breed voluble. Peirce has had Ridgebacks nearly a decade, Pike about 16 years.
They bragged on the breed continually as they rested in the shade and tended their dogs not far from the ring where Ridgebacks are shown when it comes their turn.
Owners of other breeds relaxed in similar fashion around them or groomed and prepared their canines for showings across the park grounds.
Roper, meanwhile, while on a lunch break boasted about all the breeds and her good fortune at being involved up to her elbows in the two-day event.
She said for the first year, and what she hoped would be years to come, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office K9 unit gave a presentation Saturday.
She also said Supervisor Molly Walt, due to a conflict for Mayor Bob Crowell, would hand out best-in-show and other awards.
“Any show with 1,000 dogs is a good one,” she added. “A lot of the two-day shows don’t draw 1,000 dogs anymore.”
Roper, who used to have Bernese Mountain and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs, said this year’s show has more than 100 breeds represented by the 957 entries.
“So,” she said, “since I don’t have any dogs right now, I get love from 950 dogs.”
The show continues until 5 p.m. today at Fuji Park.