Showing Your Dog in Australia.
One hundred CC points are required to become an Australian Champion. CC or Challenge Certificate points are on offer at every Championship Show including single breed Specialties. Championship Shows are held somewhere throughout Australia virtually every weekend. If one is not averse to travel (and we could be talking hundreds of miles at a time) then it would be possible to show your dog twice a weekend, every weekend. Obviously few people have the financial backing to undertake that kind of showing regime and even fewer have the inclination!
At every Championship Show the age classes offered are most usually – Baby Puppy (3mths and under 6mths ), Minor Puppy (6 mths and under 9mths), Puppy (6 mths and under 12mths), Junior (12 mths and under 18mths), Intermediate (18mths and under 3 yrs), Open (6mths and over). It is often the case that Australian Bred and/or State Bred class is offered both of these being for dogs 6 mths and over whelped in Australia or in the State hosting the show respectively.
The show can be seen as simply a series of eliminations designed to ultimately select the Best in Show. Judging is done by age within sex within breed, then breed, then group, then show. The breeds are divided into seven groups. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are classified as Hounds or Group 4. Each breed within the respective groups is judged in alphabetical order.
Breed judging commences with Baby Puppy Dogs. On selection of a winner of this class all other male baby puppies of the breed are eliminated from further judging. Minor Dogs are then judged and a winner (Minor Dog of Breed) and a 2nd place getter selected, any other minor dogs are thereby eliminated from further judging. This process continues until a first and second place getter has been selected for each male age class represented on that day. The class winners except for Baby Puppy Dog will then enter the ring for selection of Dog Challenge and Reserve Dog Challenge. Baby Puppies only compete against other Baby Puppies and are not eligible for Challenge points.
Challenge is judged to select the 'best' (in the opinion of the judge) male of the breed exhibited that day and the winner or Challenge Dog receives Challenge points according to the number of males of that breed he has defeated i.e. one point for each dog defeated (excluding Baby Puppies) and six points for being selected Challenge. These points provide the basis for the awarding of the Australian Champion title i.e. 100 points awarded qualifies the dog for the title. The only catch being that the last quarter of the points must be awarded after the dog reaches 12 months of age – hence a dog may have accumulated the necessary 100 points and not be qualified to be awarded the title until gaining a further 25 points after reaching 12 months of age.
The minimum number of shows attended to gain the 100pts would be four. If the dog has no other competition (i.e. not other RR entered) and is not refused challenge at any show, the maximum number of shows required would be 17.
Once the Challenge Dog has been selected the dog that came second in the same class will enter the ring for consideration for Reserve Dog Challenge. For example if the Open Dog takes Dog Challenge the Open Dog that came second in the class runs into the ring for consideration and may take Reserve Challenge (or 2nd best dog on the day). This whole process is then repeated for the Bitches culminating in the selection of Bitch Challenge and Reserve Bitch Challenge.
Dog Challenge and Bitch Challenge then compete for the award of Best of Breed and Runner Up Best of Breed.
The Best of Breed winner is automatically also the winner of the run-off for their age class e.g. the Open Dog is awarded Dog Challenge and ultimately Best of Breed and thus is automatically Open of Breed as well. The Best of Breed winner gains additional challenge points toward their title being one point for every dog of the opposite sex defeated. For example: 6 dogs and 8 bitches compete – the dog challenge will be worth 11pts, the bitch challenge 13pts, Best of Breed will be worth 19pts. These points are not cumulative at one show with only the highest award being considered for the day. Thus if the dog challenge winner went on to take Best of Breed he would be awarded 19pts only.
The Reserve Dog Challenge then enters the ring to compete against the Bitch Challenge for Runner Up Best of Breed. If the bitch is selected and she is from Junior class then she will automatically also be Junior of Breed. The remainder of the age classes will now be run off (dog against bitch) to get age class winners for each remaining category. Once this is completed the Best of Breed, Runner Up Best of Breed and age class winners are still required but all other competitors have been eliminated and can not compete further. Winners must now wait until all breeds of the group are judged to return to the ring for Group Specials.
Group Specials commences with all Best of Breeds for the Group entering the ring for selection of Best in Group and Runner Up to Best in Group. These are judged in the same way as Best of Breed i.e. after Best in Group is selected the Runner Up Best of Breed to that exhibit enters the ring for consideration for Runner Up to Best in Group.
Like the dog/bitch challenge points the Best in Group is awarded one point for every dog defeated in the Group plus six points for being awarded Best in Group. However, the maximum points allowable for award at any one show is 25points. If the Best of Breed is worth 25pts and the winner goes on to take Best in Group his total points for the day will be 25pts only.
Baby Puppy of Group is then selected from all the Baby Puppy of Breed winners in the Group, then Minor Puppy of Group, and so on through the age classes. The remaining age class winners are selected as per breed with Best in Group and Runner Up to Best in Group automatically winning their age classes and eliminating other dogs of these age classes.
Runoffs for all other available age classes are then run and the winners of these now constitute the age class winners for the Group. These are the only dogs required for General or Show Specials with all other exhibits from that group being eliminated from further judging.
At the completion of Group specials of all groups, General or Show Specials are held in similar fashion to the Group Specials. Best in Show is selected from the Best in Group winners with the Runner Up to Best in Group from that Group entering the ring for consideration for Runner Up Best in Show. The remaining age class winners are selected as per Group judging with Best in Show and Runner Up Best in Show automatically winning their age classes.
Best in Show awards in Australia are highly prestigious – as they are anywhere! Winners of Best in Show at Championship Shows in the various Australian States can be found at the Australian Rhodesian Ridgeback Honour Roll Site