Kars dog show has home in Carp

CARP – The most popular breed at this year’s Kars Dog Club All-Breed Conformation Show was clearly the hot dog.

All kidding aside, it was a hot, hot, hot weekend but the dogs and their handlers kept their cool as the Carp Fairgrounds hosted the Kars Dog Club All-Breed Conformation Show for the second year in a row.

The weather was certainly a concern for the furry friends, but the show started early and ended early all three days to beat the heat and Kars Dog Show organizer Nick Van der Linden and his wife Chantal said it was another great success for its second year at its home in Carp.

The Kars Dog Club All-Breed Conformation Show has been around for more than 20 years, but last year moved to the Carp Fairgrounds due to the quality of the facility. There were more than 1,049 entries and about 250 to 300 dogs came out each of the four days the show was held (July 19 to 22).

“We had a large Quebec entry, but they really come from all over the region,” Nick told West Carleton Online Monday morning (July 22).

They also came from the U.S. as well. The judges are even more well-travelled.

Maryland's Lucy Campbell poses with her Bearded Collie Henry who was named Best in Show on Monday. Photo by Jake Davies
Maryland’s Lucy Campbell poses with her Bearded Collie Henry who was named Best in Show on Monday. Photo by Jake Davies

“We bring in international judges from around the world,” Nick said.

Judges came from Australia, Mexico and western Canada to determine the best breeds at the event. Nick said the Carp Fairgrounds are perfectly suited to host a large dog show with the beautiful grass field and amenities as well as lots of close by restaurants and attractions.

“We’re in the process of growing the show,” Nick said. “This is the place. The Carp Fair people have been great. It’s perfect. We have so many people who enjoyed coming here. The community is so receptive.”

Nick said they had a lot of visitors on Saturday who were shopping at the Carp Farmers’ Market and popped over to take a look at all the beautiful breeds.

The Kars dog show is part of the national series, so points collected in Carp go towards competitors’ efforts to be the “Number One breed at the end of the year amongst the top dogs across Canada.”

Nick’s own Great Dane, Amy, is considered the top of her breed in the country.

The Kars Dog Club is in year two of a five-year commitment with the Carp Agricultural Society so will call the Carp Fairgrounds home for another three years at least.

Nick says the key to a successful entry is a lot more than just looks and a shiny coat.

“A lot of it is socialization,” he said. “Exercising, proper diet, some people do a lot of grooming but socialization in the key.”

And judging by how friendly, well-behaved and quiet all the dogs West Carleton Online and its senior reporter (Eve Leavoy-Davies) met, they were all the top of the tops indeed.

Nick and Chantal have been organizing the Kars dog show for the last four years and run two other all-breed shows during the year – one in Caledonia and one in Lindsay.

It’s a lot of travelling to compete and host.

“It’s all we do,” Nick said.

The show uses Fédération Cynologique Internationale judges, and Australian judge Graham Kerr took some time, moments before crowning this year’s Best in Show, to speak with West Carleton Online.

Kerr has judged top shows in China, India, South Africa, Finland, Cypress and New Zealand to name a few.

“There are some very high-quality dogs here,” he said.

While he loves the travel, he does the work because “I just love judging.”

This year’s Kars Dog Club All-Breed Conformation Show Best in Show went to a Bearded Collie named Henry, owned by Maryland’s Lucy Campbell.