If we have learned anything during this pandemic, it is that our sports, clubs and exhibitors are incredibly resilient. Though faced with much uncertainty, they have found ways to still participate in dog sports both in person and virtually, and enjoy the competition and camaraderie of our sports.
We are entering a phase of a “new normal” and our clubs are rising to the challenge. So far, we have seen four very successful show clusters, the Learning Cluster (OK), Mountain Laurel Cluster (PA), Carolina Foothill Cluster (SC), and the Steel Valley Cluster (OH). Each show hosted large entries and their members, exhibitors, judges, rings stewards and AKC Field Reps and made safety a high priority. The Clubs followed state, local and federal guidelines and also implemented many of the Suggested Best Practices by Sport provided by the AKC.
These suggestions include:
- Social distancing in the ring
- Disinfecting all common use surfaces frequently
- Distancing the grooming area to comply with
- Wearing face coverings when in close proximity
to others, including judging
- Eliminating ring seating
These suggestions and several others are designed to assist clubs in keeping everyone safe while still having a good time and earning their points. By all accounts, there were no incidents, and everyone was happy to comply with the rules set forth by the show chairs.
We know there is still a long road ahead with the pandemic and that means that there are still adjustments to be made before we are back to having regularly scheduled shows. However, these recent shows give us a lot of hope that the path ahead is bright. The success of these clusters is a great sign that we are headed in the correct direction and are taking proper precautions. As always, encourage clubs to adhere to the federal, state and local guidelines when
I would like to congratulate the clubs on their hard work, dedication and commitment to the shared responsibility to safety for their attendees. Your efforts are a large part of what continues to make AKC great, and we appreciate you.
The AKC staff remains available to assist you Monday–Friday 8:00am–5:00pm EDT via Customer Service or you can email staff members as well.
Together we are carefully forging ahead, and we will be successful for our sport and each other.