Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Classic Clusters dog show is going on near Brooksville

Pino Renzulli shows Emma, a boxer, in the Open Fun competition at the Florida Classic Clusters show in 2010. This year, as usual, you can take a tour, admire all the pretty and handsome dogs, grab a bite, and put your pooch through the hoops at the Doggie Fun Zone.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2010)

Pino Renzulli shows Emma, a boxer, in the Open Fun competition at the Florida Classic Clusters show in 2010. This year, as usual, you can take a tour, admire all the pretty and handsome dogs, grab a bite, and put your pooch through the hoops at the Doggie Fun Zone.

BROOKSVILLE — Anything and everything about and for dogs is gathered together for this year's annual Florida Classic Clusters, the largest dog show in the state.

The five Tampa Bay area kennel clubs hosting the event expect 18,000 canines for the 10 American Kennel Club all-breed dog shows that began Thursday and run through Jan. 22 at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, near the intersection of State Road 50 and Interstate 75 east of Brooksville.

Grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; there are no competitions scheduled for Tuesday. Admission is free; parking is $5 per vehicle.

Public address systems announce in the background, and the audience oohs and aahs with appreciation. But hardly a bark is heard from the celebrities on parade. The show hounds are trained to be obedient.

"Every breed shows every day," said media coordinator Diane Chiucchi.

Each day's program is presented by one of the kennel clubs: Clearwater, Inverness, Manatee, Pasco and Tampa Bay. The classic is the Southeast's replica of the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Entries at the classic range from 1,600 to 2,200 per day, said Chiucchi, who herself is competing with a whippet.

Because class contests are time limited, judges aren't able to voice comments about their selections. But the event offers free show tours where spectators can learn more.

"Visitors can go behind the scenes and learn how a dog is judged, meet dog handlers and more," said Chiucchi. An AKC designee will conduct the tours, beginning daily at 10 a.m., from the superintendent's tent, situated in the midst of the show rings.

Shopping opportunities abound, from jewelry and clothing celebrating dogs to dog foods and treats, collars and leashes, dog beds and crates.

A food court offers hot dogs, burgers, full meals, funnel cakes and other desserts.

Tempting owners of all dogs is the Doggie Fun Zone, a course where canines can traverse a route with obstacles for jumping and running. Entry is $12.

The Fun Zone is open to visitors and their canines. Otherwise, only purebred dogs in the competition are permitted on the grounds.

Opportunities abound to adopt a purebred dog. Breed organizations are showcasing on Rescue Row, offerings of greyhounds, Dalmatians, huskies, Great Pyrenees and Labradors, as well as special dogs from the Humane Society of the Nature Coast.

Some of the proceeds from the classic go to local animal shelters, a scholarship for a veterinary student, junior dog handlers, and needy, ill or elderly dog owners.

Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected]

If you go

What: Florida Classic Clusters dog show, featuring 10 American Kennel Club all-breed dog shows, conformation, junior showmanship, obedience trials, rally trials and free show tours. Participants include Clearwater Kennel Club, Inverness Kennel Club, Manatee Kennel Club, Pasco Kennel Club and the Tampa Bay Kennel Club.

When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Monday and Jan. 18-22

Where: Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, east of Brooksville

Cost: Parking is $5; admission is free. Organizers suggest that spectators bring lawn chairs.

Specials: Kids Day on Monday. First 100 children under age 15 receive free tour and baseball cap. Yard sale of used dog-related items, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Senior Day, Jan. 18; free parking for those 60 and over when mentioned at gate.

Information: (813) 480-3975 or floridaclassicpark.com. A complete schedule of shows is available on the website.

Florida Classic Clusters dog show is going on near Brooksville 01/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Some teachers allege 'hostile and racially charged' workplace at Pinellas Park Middle

    K12

    PINELLAS PARK — Two black teachers at Pinellas Park Middle have requested transfers out of the school, alleging the work environment there has become "hostile and racially charged."

    Pinellas Park Middle School at 6940 70th Ave N, where some black teachers have alleged they were treated with hostility by colleagues after starting a tutoring program for black students. Just 22 percent of black students were proficient in English language arts in last spring's state tests. Two black teachers have asked to be transfered, according to a letter from two local chapters of the NAACP. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  2. Editorial: The unknown price tags in the mayor's race

    Editorials

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been busy promoting all sorts initiatives in the months leading up to the Nov. 7 election, doubling down on his progressive agenda without spending much money or generating much controversy. But make no mistake, the cost will come due after the election. Without a change in …

    The mayor is determined to get artist Janet Echelman to create a sculpture for the new Pier. But the cost would be much higher than what is allocated. Above is Echelman’s As If It Were Already Here in Boston.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.
  5. Advocates for charter, public schools argue their cases at education forum

    K12

    TAMPA — Advocates of charter schools argued for diversity in education while supporters of traditional public schools charged that state funding is stacked against them during a forum Friday titled "Choices in Education."

    Schools such as Winthrop Charter School deserve greater public support, their operators say, because they offer a choice in education that is popular among parents. Public school advocates say charter and voucher schools represent a double standard in accountability and enrollment. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]