The Bulldog Club of America just held its 102nd annual specialty show November 26 through December 1 in Ontario, Calif. Few breeds can boast such a long history. It’s rare testament to the strength and vitality of our club, founded in 1890. Only four times during our existence was a national not held.
This year’s entry was 356 Bulldogs, including 67 specials, That’s more than three times the entry at our first national held outside the New York area. The 1949 BCA national in Indianapolis drew 103 entries.
Since the 1989 national in Houston, an average of 330 Bulldogs have been entered in our premier event. That number includes an average of 67 champions.
The first time Southern California hosted the national (Santa Monica, 1950), we had 127 entries. That year the BCA was divided into seven regions. Division 7 was further divided in 1959. Since the reorganization, we rotate the location of the national among the divisions. To avoid adverse weather conditions, the host division may only schedule a national between September 1 and December 31.
The first BCA national was held in 1891 with 41 entries at the Westminster Kennel Club all-breed show. By 1989, the entry at the nationals grew to a record 327 dogs.
The record stood for only one year. It was broken in the metropolitan Atlanta area when we celebrated our centennial with 332 entries, including a record 70 specials.
At the ’91 national, entries fell to 212, including 45 champions. Division 5 hosted the show in Tacoma, Wash., in the relatively remote and thinly populated Northwest division near Seattle in mid-September.
Entries rebounded, however, to a record 344, including a record 74 champions when the 98th specialty, hosted by Division 1, was held on November ’92 at Cromwell, Conn.
Not to be outdone, centrally located Division 6 set a new record of 357 entries, including a record 77 champions, in St Louis during Thanksgiving week in 1993.
Our 100th specialty hosted by Division 2 in Indianapolis failed to set a record when the entry fell to 351, including 58 specials, over the Labor Day weekend.
The ’95 national, hosted by Division 7 in the Washington, DC., area, had a record 381, including a record 81 specials, in McClean, Va., during Thanksgiving.
This year’s extravaganza was hosted by Division 3. Activities began Tuesday afternoon with the hospitality suite and the BCA Education Program. The BCA National Council, our legislative policy branch, met Wednesday, followed by the national sweepstakes.
On Thanksgiving Day, we had obedience, junior handling, dogs and the popular “Question and Answers” program.
Friday had bitches and BB., followed by the Bully Brigade and the famous Sourmug Party. Breeder-judge Robert Newcomb, a former BCA president, judged intersex.
The Pacific Coast Bulldog Club specialty was Saturday, as was the BCA banquet. The Division 3 specialty was on Sunday.
The ’96 national will be remembered as “Bullywood, where stars are born.”
- William Andree, 204 S. Beach Dr., Monticello, IN 47960.