Friday, February 23, 2018
Events

Two-week dog show in Hernando to draw competitors from around the world

BROOKSVILLE

As primped and proper canines from around the globe put their best paws forward at the 2017 Florida Gulf Coast Clusters dog show, a pair of decidedly local fancier groups of man's best friend will make their debuts.

The two-week extravaganza, which takes place at Florida Classic Park east of Brooksville, begins Jan. 7 and runs through Jan. 22.

The recently organized Brilliant Dog Club of Dade City will stage the event's opening act, two days of crowd-pleasing agility trials, the club's raison d'etre and a growing sporting event fueled by its television popularity.

Canine athletes with uncommon smarts will leap, dive, chase, tunnel and flat-out dash in timed events at their masters' commands, the top dogs anticipating their antics without their handlers' orders.

Also, the Hernando Kennel Club, with Ronald Lombardi of Brooksville as show chairman, is new among Clusters hosts, joining the kennel clubs of Pasco Florida, Tampa Bay, Clearwater and Manatee. Some 15 volunteers of the 30-member Hernando club will help stage the 10 days of conformation competitions, two days of breed specialty shows, plus junior showmanship contests, obedience trials and rally trials.

"This is one of the largest events in the Southeast and one of the largest (dog) shows in the country," spokeswoman Pat Lombardi said. "We're expecting slightly more (entries) than last year, when we had close to 19,000."

Entrants are coming from Asia, Japan, South America, Europe, Canada, Mexico and throughout the United States.

Sixteen breeds newly recognized by the American Kennel Club will compete for the first time, bringing total breeds vying for ribbons and titles to a record 125.

One of those breeds, the berger picard, is represented by Hernando County resident Debbie Butt, co-owner of the nationally top-ranked dog of the herding breed. Having moved last year from Virginia, Butt said, "The dog show was definitely a factor" in her choice of a Brooksville home. Butt will compete daily with her champion canine.

Showgoers also will want to look out for popular newcomer breeds, Lombardi said: podango of the hound group; Spanish water dog, a corded brown- and white-coated herder, and cirnecko dell'etna, a short-haired hound of medium pincer size; miniature American shepherd, a downsized border collie herder.

Specialty breed shows on Jan. 9 and 10 will showcase terriers, Great Danes, Akitas and poodles.

Ongoing daily will be age-designated showmanship events for juniors, introductory obedience rallies, and an open-to-the-public doggie fun zone with races and performance contests, with an entry fee of $12.

Also, the public is invited to stroll through staging areas to see dog grooming and to chat with owners and handlers.

Vendor booths surrounding show rings will offer "everything that a dog could possibly want and more for whatever their owners can spend," Lombardi said. She mentioned "doggie beds, collars, people jewelry with dog stuff on it, doggie art."

A food court will be equally eclectic with a java and breakfast bar, Italian and Chinese kitchens, barbecue and the usual festival fare.

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Blast Friday: The Romantics: The family-friendly food and craft vendor festival featuring a free live concert and a beer garden. 5:30 p.m., 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 464-7200. Pasco C...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

ST. PETERSBURG — The composer sat in semi-darkness, his hand drifting like a slow pendulum at his side. On the Mahaffey Theater stage, the violins led a creaking and mysterious journey through a cypress swamp, the inspiration for the first movement.T...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 24

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Pirates and Pets: A time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $21.95...
Updated: 9 hours ago
‘Annihilation’ is strange, beautiful biological mystery

‘Annihilation’ is strange, beautiful biological mystery

Alex Garland’s Annihilation is a bracing blend of cerebral sci-fi and grindhouse terror, a genre movie that’s more, maybe too much for some viewers.Based on Tallahassee author Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, Annihilation on the surface is a dead-ducks missi...
Published: 02/22/18
Review: John Dufresne gives an entertaining short course in ‘Flash! Writing the Very Short Story’

Review: John Dufresne gives an entertaining short course in ‘Flash! Writing the Very Short Story’

Don’t tell John Dufresne you don’t have time to read.In fact, don’t tell him you don’t have time to write. Instead, spend a little time with his new book, Flash! Writing the Very Short Story. You’ll find a treasure trove of stories you can read in th...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
An original clarinet and bassoon composition highlights Tampa Bay Symphony concert

An original clarinet and bassoon composition highlights Tampa Bay Symphony concert

ST. PETERSBURG — After the National Anthem and some introductory remarks by the maestro, a teacher from Chattanooga, Tenn., addressed a crowd at the Palladium Tuesday about the short work they were about to hear from the Tampa Bay Symphony."This piec...
Published: 02/21/18
Innovative artist Toni Dove’s Embodied Machines and Bekky Buekes’ Black. White. Gold.

Innovative artist Toni Dove’s Embodied Machines and Bekky Buekes’ Black. White. Gold.

Toni Dove: Embodied MachinesIf you were feeling like your art viewing experiences haven’t been high-tech enough lately, the "Embodied Machines" exhibition opening at the Ringling Museum on Sunday will fill that void. It’s the first survey exhibition ...
Published: 02/21/18