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The Washington Classic
Posted on 07/30/2012 in Dog Events.

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The Washington Classic
Sydney Suwannarat

UKC hosts three Classics throughout the year - in Michigan, North Carolina and Washington State. Each has its own unique style and flavor depending on the host clubs putting on the event and, of course, the area of the country.

The Washington Classic is beautifully located in the Green River Valley of Washington surrounded by the picturesque Cascade Mountain range. This event is organized by Puget Sound K-9s, a wonderful group of enthusiastic dog lovers who are passionate about UKC events. This show is held on the cusp of June and July and offers three days of conformation, obedience, rally obedience and agility. There are a lot of options to earn the Total Dog award at this event.

Being new to UKC, I have not had many opportunities to get to any shows west of the Mississippi, and I have attended some really great events on the East Coast, but when I got to this event I was immediately struck by the difference in culture from East to West. The atmosphere is completely different; East Coast shows tend to be “mostly business”, if you will. The East Coast exhibitors tend to be more goal-focused at shows, concentrating on wins/points/scores because they work hard to train their dogs and take time out of their hectic schedules to travel to shows to earn them.

West Coast people do this as well, yet exhibitors are unhurried, less frantic and the dogs are quiet (mostly). Overall, the entire scene was laid back and social; genuine relaxed camaraderie was displayed everywhere.

I believe some of this atmosphere is due in part to the lovely show site. Argus Ranch Facility for Dogs is truly a “site” to behold. It exudes a subtle sense of tranquility which pervades the show grounds, and if you are a dog enthusiast there is no way you could look at this facility and not think “dog show heaven”! The facility is quite large and there is a limited capacity to house exhibitors directly on the show grounds in a fabulously renovated barn turned into living quarters. There is also camping available on the grounds with full hook-ups for RVs. The outdoor areas are level and covered in short, lush green grass, and there is a separate enormous barn built strictly for holding all types of dog events. There are fenced in grass-covered paddocks spaced intermittently where you can politely exercise your dog off leash.

Argus Ranch and the Washington Classic is located right off of the highway and it is an easy 40-minute drive into the heart of Seattle. A trip I highly recommend to anyone who has never been to Seattle. The famous Pike Street Market is a must-see and adds an additional incentive to attending this show.
Conformation entries were decent and I enjoyed seeing the different styles of dogs from what I am used to seeing. Puget Sound K-9s, however, is a performance-based club (after my own heart), and has a strong performance following in this area; so much in fact, they exceeded their limit in obedience and had to hire an overflow judge!

I truly enjoyed this event and loved seeing some of the “regulars” I have come to know, but also was delighted to meet new people and talk with many about UKC, its programs and its future. A huge thank you to Rich and Bev Benjes for their insistence that I come out and experience the Washington Classic; to Joanne Mulligan, the Event Chair, and Susan Mulligan, the Event Secretary, who bend over backwards to offer this event every year. Their dedication to UKC and its events is truly appreciated; and finally to Holly Leale, the owner of Argus Ranch! A gem of a lady and a visionary when it comes to creating the perfect place to have a dog show … even if her green beans are a little crispy! I had a great time. I will be back and I recommend anyone to attend this event. I am quite sure you will find it as enjoyable as I did.