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How To Get More Involved With Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels are about to take over Missouri, and you are invited to be a part of the fun, festivities, and all things Wigglebutt!

Fidose of Reality is road tripping to Gray Summit, Missouri, this July for the 43rd American Spaniel Club National Specialty. We would love to meet you in person, so we worked with the American Spaniel Club (ASC) to bring you this exclusive opportunity.

Here’s everything you need to know about attending the ASC National as a spectator, what to do, where to stay, if your dog can come, hotels, activities, raffles, prizes, vendors, and more. It’s all things Cocker Spaniel…and other breeds, too.

Cocker Spaniels running in sand

What Is The Cocker Spaniel National and What Takes Place There?

The American Spaniel Club would like to welcome Spaniel lovers and their dogs to attend our Cocker National this year held at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Missouri, July 18-21, 2019. The event takes place in the Event Center building.

As a point of reference, Gray Summit is about 42 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. The activities take place inside the Event Center building. Admission is free at Purina Farms and you can view the map, rules, schedule of activities, video and more here.

There are many different events that take place during the ASC National Specialty. This year ASC is offering four days of agility, three days of rally and obedience, and three days of conformation. They also have some other fun events including the parade of title holders, parade of rescues and junior showmanship.

Why Should Lovers Of Cocker Spaniels Attend?

The American Spaniel Club has a membership that includes so many ambassadors of our breed. It is a great time to connect with other Cocker lovers and enthusiasts as well as learn about the breed and all of the different events you may participate in with your Cocker Spaniel.

cocker spaniels at dog show

Can Non-Competing Dogs Attend And Are There Rules? 

Anyone planning to attend with or without their dogs are asked to please abide by the show and facility rules. Please read the Purina Farms Visiting Pet Guidelines as well as other information on visiting Purina Farms. https://www.purina.com/about-purina/purina-farms/visit

If your dog plans to attend the actual ASC activities as a spectator, there are some specific rules you must follow.

Marlene Ness, membership chairperson for ASC Strategic Planning will lead a tour for all guests and their dogs. That’s right, we are having our own ASC show tour Thursday, July 18, beginning at 9:00 am. The tour will include a brief synopsis of facility and show guidelines and rules. Then we will offer a small tour of our show and explain to you about all the different activities taking place.

We ask those of you who are new to the ASC event please attend this tour with your dogs. There are areas the dogs are not allowed, and we will go over all of this.

If your dog is well behaved and is used to crowds, other people, and dogs, then, by all means, we invite you to attend. Reactive dogs or dogs who would not do well in a crowd are asked not to attend. You will be required to have a copy of your dog’s rabies vaccination or their rabies waiver, as this is a show requirement for everyone.

Absolutely no FlexiLeads allowed during show hours. If you plan to bring your non-competing dog please let Marlene Ness know in advance via email. Her contact information is nesmar@live.ca or cell 203-240-8622.

If you make plans to attend the show please let Marlene know how many in your party and your dog(s).

Marlene says, “This is the first time this has been allowed and I am thrilled to be working with Carol and Club Cocker and the great things to come from our love of Cockers.”

What Takes Place At And Outside Of The Event?

There are three different rings set up inside the beautiful Purina Farms facility. There is one ring each for agility, conformation, and obedience and rally. All three rings tend to run simultaneously. After hours, there will be a welcome party on Thursday, a really fun luau bingo night on Friday and an awards banquet on Saturday for dogs earning special honors for the 2018 calendar year. The public is welcome to attend any and all of these events for a separate fee.

There will be many vendors with all kinds of different dog and cocker items. ASC also has a huge raffle, show memorabilia throughout the show. Purina Farms also has a cafe offering food which remains open during show hours.

Please stay tuned for more show event information. Any questions please contact, Marlene Ness at either nesmar@live.ca or cell 203-240-8622.

Eye Clinic and Blood Draw

Cocker Spaniels that are full pedigree are welcome to partake in the Genetic Cataract Study. This is not open to all dogs, even if they are a Cocker Spaniel. Dogs must be pedigree.

Saturday, July 20; Starting at 12:00 noon
Fee per dog: $40, all inclusive (exam, blood draw, shipping)
Participate in the eye clinic and blood draw in support of the Genetic Cataract Study. 
Clinic location: Service building at Purina Farms

Dr. Elizabeth Giuliano, DVM, MS, ACVO
Professor, Ophthalmology
University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Watch for an appointment registration form to be published shortly or email Elena Duggan at cliffsiders@hotmail.com.

Club Cocker Wigglebutts Worldwide

Club Cocker Get Together

Members of Club Cocker: Wigglebutts Worldwide Facebook Group (which we founded), let’s get together on Thursday night, July 18th at the Welcome Party. $10 per person but we will also be able to hang out and see each other AT the event, too!!!! Catered meal by Super Smokers BBQ.

You must buy your welcome party ticket now. Here is the form. < ==========

Other events that have a fee, you must purchase in advance and they can be found here. (i.e. Luau Bingo, etc) 

Costs To Attend Cocker Spaniel National

There is no entry fee into the building as a spectator. The only fees that apply are if you are entering a dog in any of the competitions or joining any of our after-hours parties/activities.

cocker spaniel agility

Lodging and Accommodations

There is lodging available, and you would need to book sooner than later, as this is considered “high season” in the area.

Some hotels to consider:

Holiday Inn Six Flags, 4901 Allenton Rd, Eureka, MO • (636) 938‐6661 ASC Rate $149.00 per night, $35 one -time dog show fee, Approx. 15 miles from Purina Farms; Pet policy here: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/eureka/eerek/hoteldetail

Wildwood Inn, 2801 Fountain Place, Wildwood, MO 63040• (636) 733‐9100; Approx. 15 miles from Purina Farms; Pet policy here: https://www.thewildwoodhotel.com/

Comfort Inn, 132 Thornton St, Pacific, MO 63069 • (636) 257‐4600; 8 miles from Purina Farms; Pet-friendly, learn more here: https://www.choicehotels.com/missouri/pacific/comfort-inn-hotels/mo136

Quality Inn, 1400 West Osage St, Pacific, MO 63069 • (636) 257‐8400; 8 miles from Purina Farms; Pet-friendly, more here: https://www.choicehotels.com/missouri/pacific/quality-inn-hotels/mo199

Drury Inn & Suites Southwest St. Louis, 5 Lambert Drury Place, Valley Park, MO • (636) 861-8300; 21 miles from Purina Farms; Pet-friendly, more here: https://www.druryhotels.com/locations/st-louis-mo/drury-inn-and-suites-st-louis-southwest

What About Transportation From Hotel To Venue?

You can use Uber or Lyft ride-sharing services, but there’s something special in store. If you don’t drive your own car to the event, you can take part.

Arrangements have been made with “Yo Taxi” Shuttle and Cab Services. You must call them at (636) 234‐6360 one (1) day before you will arrive at the airport to make arrangements to be picked up. You will need to make your payment at this time with a credit card. No extra charge for crated dogs. Dogs must be crated at all times while in the shuttle or cab. Extra passengers at no extra charge.

This service is a recommendation from Purina Farms Event Center. To or From Lambert/St. Louis Airport Wildwood Inn $59.00 Credit /$54.00 Cash Holiday Inn/Quality Inn/Comfort Inn $69.00 Credit/$64.00 Cash Purina Events Center $74.00 Credit/$69.00 Cash They will also be available to drive you to and from the hotels to Purina Farms. Please speak to them if you are interested in this service.

There is also RV Parking, read more about that here.

The following rental car companies are available at Lambert/St. Louis Airport. If you wish to rent a car please contact them.

Alamo (800) 462‐5266;  Avis (800) 831‐2847 ;Budget (800) 527‐0700; Enterprise (800) 325‐8007 ;Hertz (800) 654‐3131; National (800) 227‐7368; Thrifty (800) 367‐2277

cocker spaniel prizes

What Events Are Best To Attend?

This is a tough one because every event is worthwhile. You should get into town on Wednesday, July 17th. The Cocker only agility is on Thursday so you will only see Cocker Spaniels running agility that day. The big conformation best-of-breed competition happens on Saturday so that’s a great day to attend as well. There will still be agility and obedience on Saturday but all breeds are welcome to enter then. 

We are attending and doing online coverage on Thursday and Friday and plan to depart Saturday, but you are welcome to stay all three days. 

Here’s the 2017 Best of Breed competition video:

How Do Dogs Qualify To Compete?

Any Cocker Spaniel no matter where they came from is eligible to compete in the agility, rally and obedience trials. There are a lot of great rescue Cockers that compete in all of these venues. Conformation is a little different.

For conformation, Cockers have to have a pedigree, registered, and meet the breed standard in order to be shown in that competition. This is really important as it helps establish what dogs should be considered for breeding programs and it’s kind of the bar that people look to achieve when breeding the total Cocker Spaniel.

Is There An Official Website?

Yes, you can learn everything and keep up to date here: 2019 Cocker Spaniel National Specialty

Can’t come but want merchandise? ASC Store has a store: Shop here

More About Cocker Spaniels

84 Best Cocker Spaniel Gifts

Is a Cocker Spaniel The Right Dog For Me?

How You Can Help Research For Cocker Inherited Cataracts

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