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Annual AKC dog show scheduled for late March

March 15, 2019 GMT

MITCHELL — The dogs are out again in Mitchell later this month for the 75th Scottsbluff Kennel Club Dog Show.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctioned show is scheduled from March 29-31 at the Scotts Bluff County Events Center. The show, which includes conformation and obedience and rally, runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Admission is free but there is a $3 per vehicle charge for parking.

Suzanne Lilja-Kingma, who handles publicity for the annual show, said they started with just two rings, showing about 250 dogs near the old 4-H Quonset on the fairgrounds. It has since grown to include seven rings.

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The original event was a two-day show in June and has moved around the calendar since then. Today, AKC has set Scottsbluff’s “showing weekend” as the 13th week of the year, usually in early April.

Dog breeds competing for prizes include sporting breeds, hound breeds, working breeds, terrier breeds, toy breeds, non-sporting breeds and herding breeds.

Miranda Hacker of Torrington will be one the exhibitors at the Scottsbluff event. She’s been showing dogs at American Kennel Club shows for the past 12 years.

“I started showing dogs in 4-H when I was 9 and just never quit,” Hacker said. “When I aged out of 4-H, I got a dog and started in AKC. I’ve been doing it most of my life.”

Hacker started showing miniature schnauzers in 4-H and later beagles for AKC shows. For the past three years, she’s been breeding AKC beagles. That’s common among exhibitors that want to help improve the breed.

She said her mother also shows beagles and they’ve recently joined the Scottsbluff Kennel Club.

“My dogs are like my children and I like to interact with them,” Hacker said. “All the activities are a bonding thing for us. So far I’ve bred and raised my own home-bred champion.”

She added it’s a fun experience to make friendships with others with similar interests. She shows at several shows in Colorado and in Wyoming.

A new event has been scheduled for the Scottsbluff Kennel Club show in Mitchell, called “Meet the Breed.” Throughout the day on Saturday, March, exhibitors can sign up to give a 30-minute talk on their dog breed. They’ll talk about what that dog was originally bred for, its temperament, health, socialization with both humans and other animals, and other topics of interest.

“Exhibitors will share a wide variety of information about the breed so people can understand what kind of dog would be a good choice for them,” Lilja-Kingma said.

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Also on Saturday, the Scottsbluff Kennel Club will be awarding scholarships for the best junior handler and best reserve junior handler. The scholarships are offered to youth ages 8 to 18. The actual scholarship is handed out when the student enters college or trade school.

In addition to the show, several vendors plan to be at the Events Center with food, coffee, dog equipment and toys, and even a blade and scissor sharpener from New Mexico.

Exhibitors from across the country bring their animals to Mitchell each year. Nebraska, Colorado and South Dakota are states that are heavily represented. Some of the other represented states include Texas, California, Wyoming and New York, where some of the dogs were shown at the Westminster Dog Show.

For more information on the show and the Scottsbluff Kennel Club, visit their website at scottsbluffkc.org.

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