This year has been unpredictable and unprecedented, but what has been prevalent is the resilience of our dedicated and knowledgeable dog community.
We feel extremely grateful to have been able to hold our 20th Annual AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, Florida, on December 12th and 13th at the Orlando Orange County Convention Center. With multiple layers of COVID-19 precautions in place, spread out over a million square feet of floor space, we forged ahead with the goal of crowning a new National Champion. It was no small feat. However, we are proud that everyone rose to the challenge to create a memorable experience for breeders, exhibitors, professional handlers, Delegates, Judges, stewards, vendors, and superintendents.
Companion events shone brightly as we held the AKC National Obedience Championship and the AKC Rally National Championship during the weekend’s events. These championships recognized the top competitors in companion events and we were elated to celebrate them and crown new Champions in both sports.
Agility held its invitational, demonstrating one of the highest levels of training and teamwork between dog and handler. The top five dogs in each breed received an invitation to compete in this prestigious trial. Agility competition for Junior Handlers was held for the tenth year. These extraordinary dogs raced through their courses and took home brilliant wins. The high-paced action is available on AKC.tv.
We also hosted The Inaugural AKC Fast CAT Invitational. The country’s fastest dogs from each breed, based on rankings from AKC Fast CAT Tests, were invited to compete for the designation of Fastest Dog USA or Speed of the Breeds Champion. Dogs competed in two final divisions: Fastest Dogs USA and the Speed of the Breed Championship. The competition aired on ESPN 2 and is available on AKC.tv.
The weekend culminated in the crowning of America’s National Champion. The safe distancing production of our show will air on ABC, Sunday January 17, 2021 (check your local listings). We are thrilled that, in the midst of uncertainty, we are able to have our show on a new network for the next three years. It is a fitting honor for our breeders and exhibitors who work so hard to produce and exhibit these quality dogs.
And as I close, I want to say thank you to every breeder, exhibitor, Judge, Delegate, Board Member, and Staff Member for your dedication to purebred dogs and our various sports. You are what keeps AKC moving forward and, in the most trying of years, you have been an inspiration.
Wishing everyone a Healthy Holiday Season and a Prosperous