The Kennel Club of Philadelphia
The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s two benched, all-breed dog shows are held this year on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, 2013. The shows, sanctioned by The American Kennel Club, will help raise money for a variety of canine-related causes. Prior beneficiaries of The Kennel Club of Philadelphia include The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
See AKC sanctioned Breed, Group, and Best In Show judging and top agility dogs in the ring each day. Saturday is The National Dog Show, Presented by Purina, to be broadcast nationwide on Thanksgiving Day by NBC. Sunday’s show offers enhanced athletic dog exhibitions plus family-friendly activities and hands-on fun.
A Rich History
Since hosting a major dog event in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia has been at the forefront of the purebred dog world. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) and its predecessor clubs have been presenting dog shows since 1879. In fact, the Philadelphia club predates the American Kennel Club (AKC) which was organized on September 17, 1884. The Philadelphia club went through several changes of name in the years spanning the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Records show a Philadelphia Kennel Club benched show in 1896 and a Philadelphia Dog Show Association with a “bench show of dogs” from 1899 to 1909. Shortly after, the group reorganized and formed the present-day Kennel Club of Philadelphia. The KCP hosted its first dog show in 1912, was elected a member of the AKC in February 1913, and is thriving to this day. The KCP shows were suspended from 1928 through 1932, the time of the Great Depression. The shows resumed in 1933 and have been held annually ever since. For most of that period, the shows were staged in December at the Philadelphia Civic Center. Unlike the more common “show and go” format, benched shows require exhibitors to remain in the building for the day, allowing the public to meet and greet the canines. Now almost a lost tradition, only six benched shows remain in the country.
The Top Dogs
Wayne Ferguson, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Shows and National Dog Show in-house announcer, is President of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, past Vice Chairman of the Morris Animal Foundation and a past Director of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. Wayne has been in the dog show world for 45 years and is past President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Mr. Ferguson was honored at the 2012 Showdogs Awards by being inducted into the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the purebred dog world.
WILLIAM H. BURLAND, Show Chairman of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia since 2006 and his wife Lisa have been active in breeding and exhibiting for over 30 years. Bill’s daughters, Kelly and Kathleen, are also active in the sport.