Upon returning home from the 2019 DPCA National, I couldn’t help but reminisce about what a wonderful event we had this year. Thanks go to all of the volunteers who work tirelessly to coordinate this event for us. I know it is not an easy task, and at times I’m sure is thankless.
Having attended a few different breed nationals, I whole-heartedly believe our event is one of the best there is. Consider the following:
We have not one or two, but THREE Top Twenty events. Many clubs still have NO recognition for their Top 10, 20 or 25 conformation dogs let alone a glamorous event for Obedience or Agility.
We have a Futurity and a Maturity that is gaining strength with more entries each year.
We have a Sweepstakes event dedicated entirely to Owner Handlers. I have seen this catching on with a few other clubs, but like the Top Twenty, the Owner Handler Sweepstakes started with the DPCA.
We have a Judges Education program that is led by long time, accomplished, dedicated and knowledgeable people who share a common vision for the breed. They teach by the standard and not personal agendas. The presentation is the same regardless of where prospective judges attend, and the message is consistent.
We have a fabulous Breeders Education seminar each year which is well attended both by new and seasoned breeders. Our breed is one where we emphasize the importance of continuous education.
We have a handling seminar, taught by different instructors each year who volunteer their day to help others hone their touch with their dogs. Over the years we have been fortunate to learn from Andy Linton, Esteban Farias and many other extremely talented individuals. This year Colleen Nicholson headed the seminar, and the feedback I heard was nothing short of exceptional!
We have the Friday Night Fundraiser which whether emceed by Rick George, Steve Schorr or Mimi Brown is a must attend. Our people come out in droves to spend their money on raffle tickets and auction items with all of the funds going to Health and Rescue. The Lifetime Achievement Awards and Sportsmanship award are also announced, along with the Top Twenty People’s Choice. It is a fun night to get together before the final day of judging.
And…. we have a Juniors program that has been so successful over the last five years. The annual bake sale has become somewhat of a mainstay on Thursday of the National, and I wish we had a photo this year of the LINE to get in and grab the best goodies available when Carissa Shimpeno announced we were open for business. Thank you to the membership who supports our juniors and helps them raise funds for their program. These funds are allocated for scholarships, stipends for Westminster and Royal Canin, their Top Twenty rosettes and so much more.
In 2019, Purina added Best National Specialty to its list of awards given out at Westminster each year. The inaugural award went to Poodle Club of America. They have artificial turf in their rings and the floral decorations are out of this world. We have everything else, and I would strongly suggest the Doberman Pinscher Club of America be nominated for this award.
While Topeka isn’t my personal favorite venue, and the drive is painful, I will admit the Capitol Plaza has everything we need for our national show (and it is a lengthy list). The staff were very helpful this year, and the weather certainly cooperated.
Throughout the week, I felt surrounded by dedicated Doberman breeders, handlers, aficionados of all sorts who truly and honestly love the Doberman Pinscher. The judging was fair and balanced, and good dogs were identified and rewarded. Everywhere I looked, people were having fun! For some reason I can’t quite pinpoint, the vibe at the National this year just felt different. I hope that on our return in 2020, I will feel this again.