We had a lot of fun at the 2nd annual Nihon Ken Invitational hosted by JACA. The turn out was great this year with all the breeds from the first show in attendance in addition to the Kishu Ken for the first time. The JACA Cares rescue booth looked great and had a lot of success selling and auctioning items for the rescue fund. But for me, the highlight of the day was the costume contest! Many of the participants were seniors, retired from show, or “just” pets and it was wonderful that they were involved.
As far as the show itself, the Kaiju Krew had great results as well. Gryphon, our senior American Akita, entered her very first show and won altered Best of Breed and Group 3. Bijo came out of retirement to show in the Veteran class, where she placed 2nd. But it was the brindle dogs who really stole the show. First, Godzuki won Champion of Champions. But Gamera took Best Grand Champion and Best of Breed! After lunch, King Ghidora, along with his progeny Gamera and Bruno, won Best Stud Dog over two of the most prolific Japanese Akita studs in the US. A very successful day indeed.
The judge this year was Helayne Parker, and she was enthusiastic about learning more about the Nihon Ken breeds and the finer points of their breed types. She was approachable, thoughtful, friendly, and great with the dogs. Talking with her after the show, it was clear she’d done her research. Most UKC judges haven’t had the chance to see these rare breeds before, which is why this show is so important.