Collie Club of America Picked A Winner With Peoria ShowSight

Collie Club of America Picked A Winner

From the monthly column “Lines from Linda”. ShowSight Dog Show Magazine – June 2019 Issue. Click to subscribe. 

Kudos to the Collie Club of America for discovering a city with all of the elements needed for a perfect ShowSight. Peoria, Illinois has it all with its big city amenities yet small town hospitality!

All across the country it has become a real challenge for our dog show clubs to find affordable venues in fun, accessible cities with functional facilities to accommodate all of our needs. CCA Show Chairs Kelly Montgomery and Jean Framke cannot stop praising the team of Peoria’s finest people who worked with them to make certain every need was met to make their 2019 show one of the best.

Peoria was a place I knew nothing about. Boy, was I surprised! In lieu of taking the complimentary hotel shuttle from the airport, I hired a driver to show me the city. He began by driving me through neighborhoods of mansions, and I immediately recognized a home designed by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. My next-door neighbor, Rick Bristol’s home Broad Margin in Greenville, South Carolina, was designed by Wright. In my travels, I’ve enjoyed visiting many of his amazing structures, and immediately I had to call Rick to share my new discovery.

While passing by the Peoria Riverfront and the Caterpillar Visitors Center, I loved seeing the HUGE statue of President Abraham Lincoln. The driver reminded me that Illinois is the land of Lincoln. Gee, wish we had stopped to take pictures. I was already having fun! Not only were there many restaurants, but the Peoria Riverfront Museum even has a planetarium, a 5 story Real-D giant screen theater, international fine art, Midwest folk art, history and science collections, and highly interactive exhibits just for a start.

Setting it all off was seeing the Spirit of Peoria, the turn of the century paddle wheeler! I didn’t get to go there, but this amazing gem of a city even has a 35,000-square foot venue the Pair-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. Add their Peoria Chiefs baseball farm team, which is the affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, and I guess that about covers all the bases!

Collies and their owners loved staying in Marriott’s four-diamond Pere Marquette hotel complex connected to the Peoria Civic Center which is right in the heart of downtown. Also a part of the complex is a Marriott Courtyard, and all are accessible to the Civic Center via a climate controlled sky bridge. There are also 4,000 guest rooms in the area with 1,000 rooms within WALKING distance of the Civic Center!

Believe me when I tell you that your club could not find a more wonderful city to host your next National Specialty Club Dog Show or nearby All Breed event. Beth Reusch, Convention Sales Manager of the Peoria Convention and Visitors Bureau, is available to do all of the hard work for you. You may reach her toll free at 800-747-0302 or 309-676-0303 or via email at

Spirit of the Heartland was this year’s motto, and grooming spaces were decorated to reflect the theme. The show was dedicated to the memory of four very special friends from the Midwest area who truly exuded Collie spirit and were devoted to the breed. The contributions of Rita Stanczik, Joyce Houser, Joyce Weinmann, and Vivian JaBaay will always be remembered.

Judges were in Collie Heaven as they adjucated their events with 687 dogs entered in Confirmation, Obedience Trials, and Rally Trials with a total of 937 entries. Mr. Matthew A. Stelter of Monroe, Wisconsin, Mrs. Janet Russell Hitt from Newark, California, and Louisville, Kentuckian Mr. Harry (Butch) Schulman judged Confirmation. Former top Junior herself Miss Bree Ardizzone from Bremerton, New York judged Juniors. Mrs. Sharon Ann Redmer traveled from her home in Whitmore Lake, Michigan to judge the Obedience competition and Mr. Fred Buroff of Plainfield, Illinois enjoyed judging Rally, which is one of AKC’s most popular events.

Two very special ladies received prestigious awards. Anne Cross, Shadowmont Collies, was all smiles when CCA President Gwen Means and Janine Walker-Keith presented her with a plaque as Anne was recognized by the American Kennel Club for 50 Years of judging and her devotion to the sport of dogs and love of Collies. Leslie Jeszewski, Highcroft Collies, received a proclamation for having been a member of the Collie Club of America for 50 Years. Leslie’s honor was presented by CCA Secretary Jane Clymer. Surely Leslie must have joined while in kindergarten!!!

The future looks bright. Out of 14 Juniors entered, Judge Bree Ardizonne chose Addison Lude as Best Junior Handler. Reserve Best Junior Handler was awarded to Kathryn Markey with GCH Special Eye on the Mask.

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