Mississippi Gulf Coast Kennel Club Winter Classic
At the 11th annual Winter Classic over 600 dogs came out to compete and take home the overall win.
Furry friends big and small from across the country flooded the Gulf Coast this weekend for the 11th annual Winter Classic, primed and ready to win best in show.
After the recent cancelations of dog shows due to COVID, competitors have their eyes on the prize. “People are so excited to get back. They’re driving further distances to where there actually are shows.”
Some do it as a hobby and others participate because it’s their true passion.
Joesph Washnesky, manager assistant for a dog handler, tells News 25 he has no intention of ever stopping and one day hopes to reach his personal goal. “I plan on doing this until I die. I mean, I plan on becoming a judge at one point and be able to judge breeds that I’ve loved in the past. It’s one of my things I look forward to every day is getting closer to becoming a judge.”
Dog owners and handlers say that preparing a dog for the show is a labor of love that starts before the dogs are even born. Breeder and Handler Sabria Weeks said, “Planning pedigrees and who you’re going to breed to who and then having the litter and picking the best one and then you train and get them ready and lots of socialization and then when they come to the dog shows they’re not scared.”
Dog owner Diane Sylvester has been bringing her dogs to shows for the last 20 years. “A friend of mine was showing dogs and saw my golden retriever that I had at the time and she was just like “you should show this dog.” So, we started and from the first show we were hooked.”
The Winter Classic will prepare them for the national dog show next week in Orlando, Florida.