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New AKC Owner-Handler Series

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The American Kennel Club is launching a new event in 2012 that will take place at select dog shows around the country – the AKC Owner-Handler Series.

Owner-handlers make up the majority of show entries and these people are the core of the conformation dog fancy. With this new program, AKC is going to spotlight the owner-handler by acknowledging the large amount of times and tremendous dedication that these people put into their dogs.

The AKC Owner-Handler Series will take place after Best of Breed judging in each breed ring. This competition will be open to all non-professional owner-handlers, whether experienced or novice. To be entered in this part of the competition, all dogs' eligibility must be indicated by checking the Owner-Handler box on the official AKC entry form at the time of entering the dog show. Once entered, the entrant will be marked as Owner-Handler eligible with an asterisk (*) in both the steward's book and the show catalog.

How does the selection process work? Here’s the information from the AKC: Owner-Handler Best of Breed will be selected from the dogs that are eligible to compete in the Best of Breed competition including Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. If the Best of Breed/Variety winner is Owner-Handler eligible, it will automatically be Owner-Handler Best of Breed/Variety. If BOB is ineligible and Best of Opposite Sex is eligible, BOS will compete against the eligible Best of Breed dogs of the other sex. If the BOB and BOS winners are both ineligible, the judge will choose Owner-Handler Best of Breed from the eligible Selects and eligible WD or WB. If one of the Selects is eligible, the judge will excuse dogs of the same sex as the Select and judge the remaining dogs of the opposite sex including the eligible WD or WB. If the BOB, BOS and Selects are not eligible, the judge may choose any eligible dog remaining in the ring.

Based on points from Breed, Group and Best in Show wins accrued throughout the year, AKC will rank the dogs and invite the top owner-handled exhibits to a special year-end event where they will be able to compete for a Best Owner-Handler Award.

AKC Owner-Handler Series Point Scale:
(Note: Owner-Handler Series points do not contribute to championship points)

Best in Show

100

Group 1

30

Group 2

20

Group 3

15

Group 4

10

Best of Breed

5

The AKC is hoping that many Owner-Handlers will take part in this new series and they look forward to your feedback about the new Series. They plan to add shows featuring this new event throughout the year, so stay tuned for updates on www.akc.org.

The first events in the 2012 AKC Owner-Handler Series will take place at:

Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon – January 21st
Oakland County Kennel Club – January 21st
Sahuaro State Kennel Club – February 4th
Colorado Kennel Club – February 19th
International Kennel Club of Chicago – February 26th
Ft. Worth Kennel Club – March 24th
Atlanta Kennel Club – April 14th
Greenwich Kennel Club – June 9th

If you have any questions or feedback to share about the AKC Owner-Handler Series, AKC encourages you to contact Bri Tesarz at glt@akc.org or 919-816-3514.

And don't forget to mark your calendars for the ABC Television Network broadcast of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on 4 February 2012. Check your local listings for airtimes.

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