David Frei to Announce M&E Kennel Club Dog Show
“It becomes one of those events that people ask, 'Did you go? Were you there?' M&E has it all – atmosphere, ambiance, ladies and gents in their finery, and the world’s best dogs all together at the same time in a glorious outdoor setting. Everybody in the sport will be there, and I’m looking forward to the spectacle.” – David Frei, pictured below at left with M&E president and show chair Wayne Ferguson
David Frei, of Westminster Kennel Club and National Dog Show fame, is happy to be the announcer for Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog show this year. "We’re expecting a huge entry, and everyone who enters is automatically a part of dog-show history," he says. "What could be better?”
The Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog show, set for Thursday, October 1, 2015, at Colonial Park in Somerset, New Jersey, features an unprecedented 120 breeds holding national, regional, and tatewide specialties as well as supported entries with an 81-page premium list – the largest premium list in dog-show history.
The history and legacy of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club initially drew David Frei to become a charter member of the revived club in the late 1990s.
“Morris & Essex is a great show and has its place in dog-show history as the greatest outdoor show ever with Mrs. Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge at its helm from the 1920s to 1950s," he continues. "When my good friend, and all-around great dog-show guy and President of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, Wayne Ferguson, brought the show out of mothballs in the late 1990s, he brought the show to a new era – paying respect to the glamour and grandeur of Ma Dodge’s shows, and ramping that up even higher for today’s exhibitors.”
Every five years, starting in 2000, the elegance, glamour, style and high level of quality judging seen at Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge’s original dog show is brought to life for a new generation. In the show's heyday in 1937, more than 50,000 dog-loving spectators descended on Mrs. Dodge's polo fields in sleepy Madison, New Jersey, to see some 4,104 dogs be shown. In 2010, the last time the Morris and Essex show was held, more than 3,415 of the world’s finest show dogs competed for Best in Show, with the 2-year-old Pekingese "Malachy" (Ch. Palacegarden Malachy) selected by renowned judge Robert Forsyth at his final assignment before retirement.
The Best in Show judge for 2015 is Mrs. Dorothy Collier, and with 120 specialties and supporteds, well over 4,000 entries are anticipated.
Frei considers the 2015 M&E the “show to be seen” and he’s had inquiries from exhibitors planning their wardrobes, particularly their hat selections. And David will be among those nattily dressed.
“An acquaintance of mine, Dave Sims, who does the play-by-play announcing for the Seattle Mariners, always looks really dapper in hats. In fact, every time I see him he’s wearing another different, really cool, hat," Frei says. "So, I Tweeted him and asked him about it, and it turns out he has a hat business. Lots of very cool styles – I’m consulting with him for the right hat for me.”
Dog-show style inspiration also abounds in the gorgeous new M&E book The Golden Age of Dog Shows, published in time for this year’s show and available on the club’s online store.
The Westminster/Morris & Essex Best in Show Connection
“I don’t think it’s coincidental that all of the Best in Show winners of our first three Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog shows of the ‘new era’ – 2000, 2005 and 2010 – went on to win Best in Show at Westminster,” Frei notes.
In 2000, the great Kerry Blue "Mick" (Torums Scarf Michael), right off the boat from England and his Crufts Best in Show win, won Morris & Essex from the classes and went on to take Westminster in 2003. The 2005 Best in Show winner at Morris & Essex, “Rufus” (Ch. Rocky Tops Sundance Kid), won BIS at Westminster in 2006. And, of course, the 2010 Peke, “Malachy” was the 2012 Westminster winner.
“Maybe winning Best in Show at M&E is a harbinger of things to come at the next Westminster Kennel Club show," Frei ponders. "You definitely want to be there and to see if that’s going to happen again.”
Frei said he expects “all the great showdogs" to be at this year's Morris & Essex. And because Morris & Essex has added a Veteran class this year, he expects to see contenders that are moving toward retirement, along with some who may have been in their prime at the 2010 show, and who have come out of retirement to compete as veterans.
“This is going to be a tough Best In Show to judge, and isn't that the way it should be?” Frei asks. “I’m sure Dorothy Collier is going to have an impressive lineup and some very tough choices.”
One of the “tough” jobs David Frei will have as announcer of this year’s M&E will be waking up by 4 a.m. on show day. “I’ll be helping M&E President Wayne Ferguson and AKC Chairman of the Board Ron Menaker greet people at the gate starting 5 a.m.," he says. "If you want to say hello to the ‘3 Amigos,’ possibly see the best dog in your favorite breed, definitely see all the great dogs of the day, and be part of dog show history, you need to enter M&E. It’s definitely the show to be seen in 2015.” - Debra Rudman
Information on the Morris & Essex Kennel Club Dog Show: firstname.lastname@example.org
M&E Premium List and Entry Form: http://ch.infodog.com/prm/908/prm908.pdf#pagemode=bookmarks
MORRIS & ESSEX MOVIE
Click or tap on the player above to watch an introduction to the Morris & Essex Kennel Club, past and present, narrated by Wayne Ferguson, Morris & Essex president and show chair.
BANG AWAY TROPHY at MORRIS & ESSEX
The Group 1 trophy that the great Ch. Bang Away of Sirrah Crest won at Morris & Essex Kennel Club in 1951 will be displayed at this year's show. Below, M&E member Bo Bengtson explains the iconic Boxer's significance, even today:
Bang Away is probably better remembered today than any other dog from the 1950s. He was the first dog ever to win 100 Best in Shows, a record he achieved in 1954 — just a few months before his constant rival, the English Setter Ch. Rock Falls Colonel, did. Bang Away was Top Dog of all breeds in 1951, 1954 and 1955 — second in 1950 and 1952 (to the Setter, who took BIS over him at the 1951 Morris & Essex, third in 1953. He won 121 BIS and was reportedly defeated in the breed only five times during his long career. He was so popular that on one of the occasions when he didn't win, the ringside spectators started to throw chairs and the judge required police escort to get out of the building!
He made an indelible impression on those who saw him. John Connolly, past president of the American Boxer Club, saw Bang Away in the 1950s: "When he was in the ring you could not take your eyes off of him, you couldn't look at anything else in the ring. … He was streamlined and added more style and flair to the breed."
Bang Away sired at least 228 litters, including 81 champions. Among his most famous offspring was Ch. Baroque of Quality Hill, who won BIS at Morris & Essex KC in 1955. Her brother Ch. Barrage of Quality Hill was considered even better than his sire by some, and was an early favorite of his handler, the late Jane Kamp Forsyth. It would be difficult today to find an American Boxer pedigree today that does not go back to Bang Away multiple times.
One of the first dogs to be shown consistently on both coasts in the U.S., Bang Away was handled in the East by Nate Levine and in the West by Harry Sangster. He was owned and bred by Dr. and Mrs. R. C. Harris of Santa Ana, California, whose kennel records, photographs, etc. are now in Suzie Campbell's possession.
The Bang Away trophy will be displayed at the American Boxer Club's trophy table during their specialty at Morris & Essex, later in the general trophy tent.
Colonial Park • 156 Mettlers Road, Somerset, NJ
The Morris & Essex Kennel Club deeply regrets the recent passing of esteemed judge Jane Kamp Forsyth. We extend our heart-felt condolences to her husband Robert, daughter Sioux Forsyth-Green. and all her loving family members. “Janey” was to have judged Best in Show at the upcoming 2015 Morris & Essex Show, and we will strive to have this show be one she would be most proud of, as we know she will be looking on. I will personally miss her after more that 50 years of friendship. - Wayne Ferguson, Morris & Essex President
M&E BY THE NUMBERS
78 breed judges
44 sweepstakes judges
46 ring stewards
1,870 feet of tenting (more than 1/3 of a mile!)
700 rosettes awarded
180 silver-plated Revere bowls (one awarded to every BOB winner)
35 golf carts to shuttle everyone
81 premium list pages – the largest ever presented
3,000 parking spaces available
425 RV spaces available
7 Art Show Group finalists, including the winner from many entries
3 mega-power generators providing electric
2.3 miles of electric cable (eliminating the need for private generators)
1 complementary box lunch for every exhibitor
Morris & Essex Kennel Club Dog Show • Thursday, October 1, 2015 • Colonial Park, 156 Elizabeth Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873 • email@example.com