The Electric City Kennel Club is hosting its annual Big Sky Fall Cluster dog show at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls.
The Big Sky Cluster All Breed Dog Show features more than 100 breeds competing in conformity and obedience.
The show has been going on for over 60 years.
Kennel Club treasurer Christian McClelland stated, "Dog shows themselves are the second oldest sporting event, only behind the Kentucky Derby and that's only by one year. Dog shows have evolved quite a bit. Every year, they American Kennel Club is looking at new breeds and I think we're close to 200 breeds right now."
The Westminster Kennel Club, which was formed in the 1870s by a group of dog fans, is America’s second oldest continuously run sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. Think of it as the dog world’s Super Bowl.
McClelland noted the fact that while there is fun to the event, there are also a lot of challenges. Being successful is mostly dependent on the owner and the way they train their dogs.
Gwen Haynes is from Calgary, Canada. She has been competing for more than 20 years. She said the preparation leading up to the competition is a lot to describe. In a nutshell, it is training, training, training.
"On top of that, you need to start with a keen dog and good mentors for training. Classes are extremely important, and then you see how your dog does when you come to these shows."
Haynes said despite the intense competition, at the end of the day, it is friendly competition. She mentioned what she enjoys most from events like this.
Haynes said, "I love being able to see the people and watching the dogs have a lot of fun. Whether they pass or fail or fail, they do great. You come home with the best dog every day."
The dog show will continue through October 10th starting at 9am-5pm (Facebook says 8am, but organizers say they officially start at 9am.)
Admission is free and open to the public
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