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All About The Show Dog


Denver’s Plum Creek KC and Peak To Peak Working Dogs in new venue at Arapaho County Fairgrounds and great shows they are.






Sherry Shivley, Journalist Award Winner


Plum Creek and Peak To Peak are popular dog show events located in Denver, the Mile High City and it was called The Cluster.


Peak to Peak working dogs kicked off the week on Thursday, followed by Plum Creek Kennel Club on Friday and Saturday, then Colorado Kennel Club Sunday and Monday. It was held at the NWSS - National Western Stockshow Complex. Lots of room for vendors, exhibitors, and visitors.


It grew. And grew. Parking became a problem. It was expensive and waiting for one of the shuttles to pick you up or drop you off, in the sometimes frigid cold, was frustrating.


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The NWSS complex was also aging - some of the pipes were seen leaking sewage from above, yet they assigned grooming spaces under it. It was difficult to unload grooming equipment and dogs.  When these concerns and more were brought up to Plum Creek Kennel Club they brought them to the table with Peak to Peak and Colorado Kennel Club.


One club did not want to address the issues. In June of 2016 Colorado Kennel Club suddenly severed their ties with Plum Creek, no longer wanting to share the NWSS or the weekend with them.


This threw the Plum Creek dog show club into a frenzy of activity contacting AKC for guidance, looking for new venues, and pulling together their part of the Cluster for 2017.


AKC agreed that since they had that date for so many years, it should continue to be theirs instead of changing it. There was also a limited number of dogs they could have entered the first year.


Peak to Peak asked to change venue with Plum Creek and together they began pulling their Cluster together.


Club members looked at venues from Loveland to Colorado Springs, CO. Either the buildings were too small, parking not large enough, motorhome parking not available or it was simply too far from Denver for exhibitors to attend CKC on Sunday and Monday.


They settled on Arapaho County Fairgrounds near Aurora Colorado - but there was a glitch. An organization had rented part of the building before them.


They charged on, hiring judges, planning and letting the public know that Plum Creek Kennel Club WOULD be having a show in 2017!


AKC asked them to have 2 shows each day, with BIS Saturday evening. It was agreed, and the show was set.


7 months from the start, I drove into the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds for the Peak to Peak Working Dogs show February 16, 2017 to find tons of parking space close to the building. I found a sign that said ‘Grooming Unloading’ along the main road, but no other signs pointing out where we could park and unload. I found a spot close to doors and unloaded. I then parked in the spacious FREE lot!


Inside it was a bit tight, but no worse than other shows I had been to. One of my pups had a bit of a nervous tummy and paused next to the ring to deposit a pile of runny poo. A wonderful lady said she was "Paying It Forward" and held my pups as I cleaned up the mess. She shared with me that her pup had diarrhea in the ring- and someone held her pup while she cleaned it up. One day I too will Pay It Forward for someone in need.


This set the tone for the shows. Smiles, helping hands. Some of the rings were small, but again, I have been in that situation before.


The Judges were excellent, one even taking the Rottie ring to task for breeding “teddy bear heads”.


The puppy judges were gentle and had a sense of humor for both Peak to Peak and Plum Creek. I appreciated that as I want my young ones to continue to love the ring.


Comments about the shows ranged from “I will never be back”, “it was too crowded” to “It was the best show EVER!!”


Some exhibitors could not wrap their minds around the fact that Plum Creek and Peak To Peak had pulled everything together in 7 months, from AKC’s OK to setting up chairs. Those are the ones that I saw grumbling on websites. Most loved the venue and look forward to the coming years when the show will become a polished jewel in Colorado, born of the sweat of a few people with a dream.


The final day of Plum Creek’s show, the DAY BEFORE Colorado Kennel Clubs shows, they opted to provide Diving Dogs, Flyball, Nosework, Dancing Dogs, Earthdogs, Carting, B Match and Agility at the NWSS complex “because the public likes to be entertained”.


They need to remember that the NWSS complex is slated to come down and be rebuilt. There is a very good chance that they will not be able to afford to rent it in the future. Instead of poking the bear, you should be making friends.


I look forward to next year to see what more Plum Creek gives us. They will have the whole building, so room for sure. Perhaps an extra day so they too can “entertain the public” with all the amazing things our dogs can do?


The Best is yet to come! EST 1998 © 1706



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