A Look Back: Morris & Essex 2015

By Jess Pearson

Preface: As we get ready for Morris & Essex in 2021, we cannot help but think back on the last event. Enjoy this recap of the 2015 Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog show! 

The clouds painted a grey, bleak backdrop across the show site of the Morris and Essex show. It was cool and overcast, the perfect weather for the ladies in their favorite coats atop stunning dresses, all coordinated with a festive hat. Hair was slicked back for the men with top hats and bowlers resting upon the heads of proud owners and handlers. After all, it was Morris and Essex, one of the most prestigious and formal shows of the year. No matter the results, one thing was certain: the spirit was high, and everyone was reveling in the Morris and Essex magic.

The show was delayed by 30 minutes, as competitors struggled to patiently wait their turn to enter and unload at the show grounds. With over 4,000 entries, the delay was no surprise to most!

The exhibitors started the day off early with Bet of Breed being awarded in hopes of continuing the magic into the evening groups. As at every show, the camaraderie amongst friends served as the overall ambiance, a sound that was music to any competitor’s ears. After all, they were all there for the same reason.

A few favorites started the day off winning the breed: “Rubi” the French Bulldog, who had won Reserve Best in Show just the day before, piloted by handler Jodi Longmire, “Rocket” the Shih Tzu handled by Luke Ehricht, and the Boston Terrier “Vinny” guided by Jorge Olivera. As in every competition, there were a few surprising moments as well: the stunned faces on the crowd provided answers as to the goings on in Ring One.

Competitors waiting for their breed ring and chances for group all carried high hopes for the remainder of the day and the weekend. The camaraderie never settled, and the magic never ended.

The evening competition began with the Toy Group. Peter Green awarded David Fitzpatrick’s Pekingese GCH Pequest General Tso a victories Toy Group win, followed by the Pomeranian GCH HiTimes What The Inferno, Toy Poodle GCH North Well Vivian JP Rose Queen, and the Shih Tzu GCH Hallmark Jolei Rocket Power.

Every handler in the ring was dressed to the nines, and judges too. After all, it was an honor for them to judge at this prestigious show. The hustle and bustle continued as normal. Would Best in Show be judged in the dark again? Only time would tell as the groups continued.

Mr. Klaus Anselm held the honors of judging the Working Group. He awarded the win to Doberman Pinscher Glory, GCH Desperado’s Hallelujah CC CGC followed by the Samoyed GCH Pebbles Run Play It Again Ham, the Black Russian Terrier GCH That’s What’s In A Name, and Newfoundland GCH Bear N Mind Code of Honour.

“Rubi” GCH Iacta Alea Est De La Bete, the French Bulldog was awarded the win in the Non Sporting Group for the second day in a row, followed by the Boston GCH Sabe’s Simply Invincible, Dalmatian GCH Merry Go Round Coach Master, and Standard Poodle GCH Gala Brighton Lakeridge Reflections of Me. The judge, Mr. Johnny Shoemaker, took a second look at his final lineup before awarding his placements.

The fourth group in was the Herding Group. Elaine Paquette guided her Bouvier GCH Stonepiller’s Steel Blu to a group win. Linda Moore then placed the Sheltie GCH Jesstar Nirvana, Border Collie GCH Majestic Elite Clever Endeavor PT, and Old English Sheepdog GCH Bugaboos Bop To The Top.

The sun began to set as the fifth group entered the ring. The Sporting Group was full, not a single breed missing, or so it seemed. A steady drizzle broke through the clouds, casting a fresh shimmer upon the grass. Nevertheless with umbrellas in one hand and a catalog in the other, the spectators and exhibitors maintained their high spirits.

The German Shorthaired Pointer GCH VJK-MYST Garbonitas California Journey, handled by Valerie Atkinson, was given the group win by Karen Wilson. She also awarded placements to the Black Cocker GCH Ashdown’s Time to Thrill, Weimaraner GCH Docs Greyborn North Star of Acadia, and the German Wirehair Pointer GCH Mt Views Ripsnorter Silver Charm.

Darkness slowly crept upon the competition as the Hound group entered. What would a grand entrance be without the sultry sound of a bugle horn! This time it was the Black and Tan Coonhound, Moses, GCH Bayaway Jersey Due Process of Law shown by Zach Helmer, who won the group. Following Moses was Whippet GCH Sporting Field’s Shameless, Saluki GCH Aurora’s The Song And Dance Man, and Afghan Hound GCH Jakar’s An Affair Most Wicked. The rain continued, dampening the air but never the spirit within the competitors.

Finally, it was time for the Terrier Group. Gabriel Rangel led the way with Scottish Terrier GCH Round Town Queen of Hearts of Maryscot, followed by the Colored Bull Terrier GCH Notorious Never Say Never, Westie GCH Lotrando Sunshine Celebration, and Border Terrier GCH Meadowlake Dark Side of the Moon. Mr. Desmond Murphy had the privilege to judge the group.

Best in Show was held under lights, as the seven competitors assembled in front of judge Dorothy Collier. One by one, she evaluated each of the seven dogs, sending them down and back and then one final lap around the ring. Upon the completion of her evaluation it was time to choose the winner, to share the Morris and Essex magic, and award another champion whose name would be forever in history books. Would this year’s winner be a Terrier, the largest group with an entry exceeding 1,200? Or would she choose the Shorthair whose grace and poise accentuated “breed standard.”

Before awarding the final placements of the day, Mr. Wayne Ferguson, President of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club, spoke a few words. He began by thanking the exhibitors for showing and attending this prestigious event. Mr. Ferguson shared that the Morris and Essex 2015 was the second largest dog show in American history.

Then it was Dorothy Collier’s turn. She was accompanied by club members who carried the silver trophies to be presented to the winner. Ms. Collier also thanked the exhibitors for attending. She first awarded her Reserve Best in Show to the German Shorthair Pointer GCH VJK-MYST Garbonitas California Journey. Best in Show was awarded to the Pekingese GCH Pequest General Tso, a repeat win for handler David Fitzpatrick as he had won this prestigious award in 2010.

As the day faded away, several were marveling at another Morris and Essex for the history books. Some brushed out dogs and packed away leads, while others packed the cars and headed to the next show. At the end of the day, it was all about the dogs, and at the end of the day only one can be crowned Best in Show, a living legend for all future Morris and Essex shows. The magic in the air subsided as the day ended. Tomorrow would begin the countdown to the next Morris and Essex show.