The 2020 AKC National Championship results are in, but who won?
The 2020 AKC National Championship results are in, and who claimed victory at the pinnacle of the conformation season?
Officially the 2020 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, the American Kennel Club‘s premier conformation event was held December 12-13 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and livestreamed on AKC.tv, celebrating its 20th anniversary despite some changes this year because of the pandemic.
It featured many of the top dogs of their breed going against each other for the title.
Lead-in events included the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Fast CAT Invitational, the AKC Obedience National Championship, the AKC National Rally Championship, the Royal Canin National Puppy and Junior Stakes, the NOHS Finals, and the Brevard Kennel Club, the Space Coast Kennel Club, the Central Florida Kennel Club dog shows.
Because of social distancing guidelines, only essential personnel (owners, handlers/assistants, judges, AKC officials and TV production crew) were allowed into the building, all humans wore masks, and no spectators were allowed. In addition, each group was split in half to better maintain distancing. Despite these measures, the show sped by, wrapping up in about seven hours over the two nights as opposed to around nine most years.
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Because of the new AKC/ESPN TV deal, this was the first year the 2020 AKC National Championship was broadcast on ABC on Sunday, January 17. Sportscaster Mary Carillo hosted the telecast, with play-by-play announcing coming from AKC executives Gina DiNardo, Carolyn Manno and Bill Ellis.
Now, onto the 2020 AKC National Championship results…
Taking the first-place blue ribbon in the Herding Group, which was judged by William Stebbins, was a female Australian Shepherd called Sketti (registered name GCHS Stonehaven Bayshore Secret Sauce).
Also earning ribbons were with Ginger the Bearded Collie with the red, the Old English Sheepdog the white and Noah the Cardigan Welsh Corgi the yellow.
The winner of the Hound Group was Bourbon the Whippet (registered as GCHP Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon), whose brother Whiskey won the 2018 AKC National Championship. This group was judged by Douglas Jones.
The winner of the Sporting Group, judged by Jon Cole, was the rare Logatto Romagnolo, a female known as Orca (registered as CH Kan Trace Very Cheeky Chic).
The judge of the Non-Sporting Group was Robin Stansell, and he awarded the blue ribbon to Venus the Standard Poodle (known officially as CH Hightide Tarquin Venus).
Also placing were Reagan the Tibetan Terrier in second, CJ the Dalmatian in third and Sushi the Schipperke (GCHB Delamer Suzi Sells Sushi on the Boardwalk) in fourth.
Dazzle the Welsh Terrier (officially GCHG Brightluck Money Talks) took first place in the Terrier Group, which was judged by Elliot Weiss.
Also placing here were Ike the Lakeland Terrier in second, Higgins the Dandie Dinmont Terrier in third and Kit the Manchester Terrier in fourth.
The judge of the Working Group was Clay Coady, and unsurprisingly, the blue ribbon here went to Wilma the Boxer (registered name GCHP2 Cinnibons Bedrock Bombshell), the most successful of her breed in history.
Best in Show
So for the title of Best in Show, the 2020 AKC National Championship results came down to Bourbon the Whippet, Dazzle the Welsh, Orca the Logatto, Skedi the Aussie, Venus the Standard Poodle, Wasabi the Peke and Wilma the Boxer. The Best in Show judge was James Moses, and the trophy was presented by AKC Chairman Dennis Sprung and Royal Canine Vice President of Marketing Justin Taylor.
The Reserve Best in Show (overall runner-up) went to Wasabi, while Bourbon was crowned the winner of the 2020 AKC National Championship.
“I can’t believe it, I’m so proud,” Bourbon’s owner/handler Cheslie Smithey said afterwards.
The next big dog show on the dog sports calendar will be the WKC Dog Show, taking place on June 13, with TV coverage on Fox.