Atmosphere, Personality and Terriers Abound
By Debra Lampert-Rudman
“It’s wonderful that the Morris & Essex Kennel Club Show is held on a great Terrier weekend. Having M&E on the first day makes it an even better weekend because top terriers are coming anyway and M&E is an added attraction,” says Peter Green, one of the world’s top dog people. “Some very famous terriers have won at Morris & Essex.”
Every five years since 2000, the Morris & Essex Kennel Club has brought back the legacy of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge's grand and elegant outdoor dog show, originally held from 1927 through 1957. This next show takes place on October 1, 2015, in Colonial Park in Franklin Township, New Jersey, replete with beautifully manicured grounds; an hour-long luncheon with china, silverware and crystal; outstanding judges, handlers, and spectators in elegant hats; and all the trappings of a gentler time featuring top show dogs.
Thirteen M&E Best in Show winners have been from the Terrier group.
“Terriers always have a good shot, since it will take a pretty good dog to win the Terrier Group that weekend, and then that dog will be a real competitor for Best in Show,” Mr. Green says. Peter Green is the only living person, and one of only two ever, to have won both Best in Show at Westminster and Crufts.
“I remember in 1957, Ric Chashoudian was showing dogs and raving how great the Morris and Essex show was,” Mr. Green says. “Mrs. Dodge used the same judges for many years and she had an exclusive bunch of judges she used. They were treated first class, and nothing but the very, very best was set for them. If Mrs. Dodge liked you, she brought you back – if not, you never got to walk on the grounds again,” he says with a laugh.
Mr. Green goes to say that at the original Morris & Essex shows, the main ring was only used for Best in Show. “A dog never stepped foot in there until that time.” The ring featured a raised platform where the dogs stood when they were placed, a tradition which continues at today’s Morris & Essex shows.
“I remember hearing that the judges and guests all dined with real tablecloths, china and silver, and the handlers had their box lunches delivered to them. It was always known as 'the' dog show to judges and terrier handlers,” Mr. Green adds.
He feels that most of today’s shows don’t have the “personality” of past shows.
“Morris & Essex brings back some of the personality of the old shows. Westminster and the new Eukanuba show still are exciting. But, nowadays, you can go to shows in these clusters and there’s no individuality to them,” Mr. Green says.
“In Mrs. Dodge’s day, everything was first class. You don’t see that – except at the revived show that Morris & Essex puts on today. The last two Morris & Essex Kennel Club shows were great. They did a heck of a job putting them on, and it’s truly something to look forward to every five years.”
Morris & Essex Kennel Club Dog Show • Thursday, October 1, 2020 • Colonial Park, 156 Elizabeth Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873 • firstname.lastname@example.org