Interview with Timothy Robbins, Chairperson of the Baytown Kennel Club
1. What is the name of your show/cluster?
Timothy Robbins: The name of our cluster is Hit the Beach! It includes the Baytown Kennel Club, the Dalmatian Organization of Houston, and the Houston All Terrier Club. Presently, we are a three-day cluster. We may possibly add another all-breed show to this cluster.
2. Where are your shows held? When?
Timothy Robbins: Our shows are held the first full weekend of March at the Humble Civic Arena in Humble, Texas. This is a suburb of Houston, very close to Bush Airport.
3. Can you please provide a brief history of your club?
Timothy Robbins: The Baytown KC was organized in 1967, and held its first point show in 1976. Baytown KC is located in Baytown, Texas, just east of Houston. This club has been part of several clusters in the past, including the Astroworld Series of Dog Shows, the Spindletop Cluster, and the Black Gold Cluster. Five years ago, the club moved its dates from the final weekend of April to the first weekend of March, in order to avoid the hot temperatures in Texas for an outdoor venue. Three years ago, we changed the venue to get more space and better parking.
4. How are the following accommodated at your show/cluster: Parking; Grooming; Bathing; Hospitality; Vendors; Public Education?
Timothy Robbins: The Humble Civic Arena has generous parking and grooming spaces available, so these are not an issue. Vendor spaces are available for a nominal fee to any vendor who wishes to attend. We usually have a nice variety of vendors; mostly doggie-related items, but there are also a few food vendors, and massage and chiropractic services. Because this arena is also used for rodeos and livestock shows, there are nice bathing stations that are permanent fixtures. This show site is now being used by four different weekends of dog shows.
5. Does your show/cluster offer the National Owner-Handled Series? Junior Showmanship? 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy? Best Bred-By? Specialties? Supported Entries?
Timothy Robbins: This cluster offers Junior Showmanship, NOHS, 4-6 Beginner Puppy, and usually an AKC Sanctioned B Match on Saturday following Best in Show. The Bull Terrier and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi clubs have a supported entry with nice trophies and prizes. The Dalmatian club holds two Specialty Shows.
6. How are judging panels determined? Who stewards at your show(s)/cluster?
Timothy Robbins: These shows are stewarded by the Mission City Stewards Club from San Antonio. Judges are hired by each club, but the various clubs try to share judges when possible. Judges for the Baytown KC shows are nominated by club members, and the panel is selected from those nominees who are available. The Show Chairman puts the panel together. The clubs try to get judges who have not judged recently in the area, and judges who will draw good entries.
7. Are Breed Seminars and Judges Education offered?
Timothy Robbins: Breed seminars have not been offered at these shows, but health clinics may be added next year.
8. How are your show(s)/cluster promoted? TV? Radio? Print Media? Social Media?
Timothy Robbins: These shows are promoted on social media, and sometimes through printed ads in dog publications.
9. What are some of the challenges that you’ve had to face as show/cluster chair?
Timothy Robbins: In 2021, our cluster was cancelled by the facility—only two days before we were to start setting up the show—due to the hard freeze in Texas a week before our shows. The water pipes froze, and the arena floor was flooded. The biggest challenge was notifying everyone to stay home. This was the first time we had to cancel an event.
10. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, what have you and your club members learned about putting on a dog show? What, if any, are the differences from previous years and how are you planning for the future?
Timothy Robbins: Like most clubs holding events during the COVID pandemic, we bought disinfectant, masks, supplies, and extra signs that we normally would not have to provide. And like most places, there were a few people who loudly complained about almost everything related to COVID. Obviously, these people do not belong to a club and help to set up an event or work an event. Otherwise, they would be grateful to clubs for hosting events.
Show Chairs Never Sit
Timothy Robbins, Show Chair – Baytown Kennel Club