Kennel Club dog show packs Kane County Fairgrounds
By Denise Moran For Sun-Times Media August 25, 2013 8:03PM
Updated: September 27, 2013 6:31AM
ST. CHARLES — Brains, beauty and even a job helping people were the characteristics of at least one of the top dogs during the 21st annual Elgin Kennel Club dog show this weekend.
More than 120 different dog breeds were judged at the Kane County Fairgrounds Exhibition Building, 525 S, Randall Road.
The competition, licensed by the American Kennel Club, had 897 dogs entered in the show on Sunday, according to Elgin Kennel Club officials. There were 854 dogs entered in the show on Saturday.
Each day, dogs competed in seven different groups: sporting, non-sporting, working, hound, terrier, toy and herding. Winners of the seven groups then competed for Best in Show and Reserve Best in Show awards.
Grand Champion Cam’s Rogue Warrior, a 3-year-old Bouvier des Flandres dog also known as Max, won Best in Show on Saturday. Max is owned by Pam Sturgill of Grass Lake, Mich.
Sturgill’s daughter, Tammie Witty of Geneva, said Max was originally purchased as just a pet.
“He turned out so nice that my mother started showing him,” Witty said. “This is the first time he won Best in Breed and Best in Show.”
“Max is just the best all-around dog,” Sturgill said. “He is a wonderful dog to live with. He has both brains and beauty. He’s also a therapy dog who visits nursing homes.”
Max has been named International Champion, Canadian Champion, United Kennel Club Grand Champion, American Kennel Club Grand Champion, and Best in Specialty.
Columbus, a 5-year-old Jack Russell Terrier owned by Mark Ulrich of Sawyer, Mich., was Saturday’s winner of the Reserve Best in Show award.
Ulrich said he has been showing dogs for 24 years. Columbus’ handler is Allison Sunderman of Hanover, Mich.
“The Jack Russell Terrier breed was developed in Australia,” Ulrich said. “The breed just received recognition at dog shows in June of last year.”
A famous Jack Russell Terrier, Moose, played Eddie in “Frasier,” a television sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney. Moose reportedly received more fan mail when the show was running than the show’s human actors.
Peggy Haas of Montgomery has served as the Elgin Kennel Club show chairman for the past 15 years. Her daughters, Karen Stewart of Bolingbrook and Linda Haas Kathan of Indianapolis, are also involved in dog shows. Haas said some of her friends started the Elgin Kennel Club.
“I’m one of the original members,” Haas said. “We used to hold the show outside until four years ago. The tents blew down one time.”
The show this year included two judges from Illinois along with three from Florida, one from Wisconsin, one from Tennessee, two from Missouri, and two from California. There were dogs from Afghans to York Terriers and ranged in size from Irish Wolfhounds to Chihuahaus.
Haas said she first became involved in dog shows when someone gave a German shepherd to her late husband, Ed.
“We also had West Highland Terriers and Lhasa Apso dogs,” Haas said.
“I once went to the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York,” Stewart said. “My Lhasa Apso, Pretti Plez, won fourth place. My family’s first West Highland Terrier, Twinkle Toes, won the highest award you can earn in obedience. It’s really fun showing dogs.”
Jacob Waters, 9, and his brother, Luke, 7, both of Cary, showed their Miniature Pinscher, Glory, on Saturday. Glory won first place in the novice category, with the brothers serving as her junior handlers. The boys dressed up in suits and ties for the event.
“Junior handlers, ages 8 to 17, are divided into four age groups,” Haas said. “The children compete by showing how well they can handle their dog.”
In addition to working with Glory at the show, the boys also like to play with her.
“She doesn’t bark, but she whines,” Jacob said. “She likes her raccoon toy.”
“We play hide and seek with her,” Luke added.