Greyhound Club of America Central Specialty

One girl, three dogs, six days and three thousand miles - I trekked all the way to Illinois and Wisconsin with Rowan, Sonic and Phoenix for the inaugural GCA Central Specialty, and the many hours and miles spent in the van paid off with some HUGE wins!!

On Friday, June 17th I showed Rowan at the International Kennel Club, and he won Best of Opposite Sex and Owner-Handled Best of Breed, and then went on to win Owner-Handled Group 3 that afternoon, bringing in a 5pt major towards his Bronze Grand Championship and 20 points towards his NOHS national ranking.

photo by Shelley Olson

The following day we woke up bright and early for the actual Specialty show, and little Phoenix was the very first Greyhound in the ring that day for Sweepstakes competition. She won her class and got to compete for Best in Sweeps, not bad for a little bitty baby who just barely turned 6 months a few days before! She also won her class in the specialty itself, and had a good time going back in for Winner's Bitch to earn her first GCA medallion and rosette.

Sonic had a fabulous time being shown in the Best of Breed lineup by a very talented junior while I handled Rowan, and to my great delight Rowan was awarded Best of Breed by judge Joan Lester over a very large entry of fine hounds!! He was also awarded Owner-Handled Best of Breed, and by winning the Specialty he earned the chance to participate in the Little Fort Kennel Club's first 'Best of the Best' invitational, where all the specialty winners competed for a $1500 cash prize at the end of the day. It was an incredibly long day and Rowan showed like the champion he is from beginning to end, and he was awarded Owner-Handled Group 2 to wrap up our time in the show ring for this trip. I am so proud of how well all three of our hounds performed!!

Sunday we switched gears and headed north to Racine, Wisconsin for the GCA specialty lure trial, where Sonic ran and I was Field Trial Secretary. There were only five Greyhounds entered in the trial, but the competition was fierce and the big 900 yard course really showed off the speed, agility and endurance of the hounds. Sonic won the Specials Stake and the runoff against one of his Windrock 'cousins' Janie (aka Ch Windrock Look Who's Talking at Sheffield SC) who won the Open Stake, and verdict was unanimous - Sonic was awarded Best of Breed!!!

I practically FLOATED the nearly 1500 mile trip home, to say that I am thrilled with my hounds' performances would be a huge understatement. To win Best of Breed at both the Specialty and the Lure Trial on the same weekend has been my dream from day one, and while I hope to someday win both with the same hound, I am so humbled to have had my boys awarded such prestigious wins on the same weekend.

None of this would have been possible without the love and support of my husband, Casey, along with all my friends and cheerleaders both in Utah and across the country (and beyond!), and as always I am so grateful for the friendship I have with Kim and Colin of Windrock Greyhounds, without their encouragement and advice I would never have been brave enough to set out on an adventure of this magnitude. Their reputation for producing well-balanced, athletic, beautiful hounds is well deserved, and to have them put their faith in novice fanciers like myself speaks volumes about their character and desire to see the breed flourish in future generations. I will forever be grateful for Rowan, Sonic and Phoenix, not only for the opportunities we have to show and lure course, but for the constant companionship and happiness they bring to our home. The inaugural GCA Central will go down in history as one of our best adventures ever, and who knows where we will go next!!

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