Sun, 10/31/2021 - 5:40pm

Question of the Week

What is your reaction to the sale and imminent return of the Midwest’s most prestigious show, the International Kennel Club of Chicago?


Wyoma Clouss

Meridian, Idaho

Wow! I do remember the IKC shows. Huge! Massive crowds of people. Booming voice to “Get your catalogs here!” Plenty of vendors. Lou Auslander. The American Miniature Schnauzer Club had their Midwest specialties at IKC. Benched. 25,000+ spectators a day. Pushing to the ring, my dog held up over my shoulder. Later, I judged for them. Women downtown wearing full-length fur coats to fight the bitter cold wind, Chicago in February …


Julie L. Mueller

Tulsa, Oklahoma 

I started attending the Chicago International at the old Amphitheater as a child. It was always so exciting because handlers from other parts of the country would come to compete. So great to be able to see top-winning dogs that we would not have the chance to normally see, compete and the handlers too. My childhood friend Michael Dachel was working for Bill Trainor; they would always come for the International. Those were special times. I will always cherish the memories and our times spent together.


Kerrie Kuper

Saint Petersburg, Florida

I was absolutely thrilled to hear about the revival of the club. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s going to the International Kennel club of Chicago when it was at the international amphitheater, and then later at McCormick Place.

So many fond memories of a wonderful show, junior dog judging contest, Whippet racing inside, demonstrations for fieldwork – those are just a couple of the things that I recall as a child. 

The show was thought of as one of the big three: Westminster, the International and Golden Gate Kennel Club in California. If you won at one of those shows, you had made it. 

Best wishes for everybody involved.


Wayne Ferguson

Broadway, New Jersey

Exciting news for sure. I'm delighted to know the great IKC is returning, and hopefully it will remain a benched show as it was during its heyday.


Michael Canalizo

Mill Neck, New York

The IKC was one of the most respected events to attend, and a win there carried great significance. My first BIS (1989) there had a ring of three to four future Westminster BIS winners in it. I’m thrilled it is being brought back to the fancy, and I’m sure it will be well supported. I have every confidence that those in charge understand how to regain their place among the greatest events in the dog sport. I will support their endeavor in any way I can.


Nancy Russell

Walsenburg, Colorado

In my opinion, no show has every compared to the International when it was in the Stock Yard. There were all kinds of events in the building. Exhibitors were benched for two days. Their benches were decorated. We had a potluck lunch together every day. We had time to talk to each other about breeding plans, see dogs, and talk to prospective puppy buyers. I am thrilled that it is going to come back, but they certainly have "big shoes to fill." Best wishes for your success.


Gretchen Bernardi

Edwardsville, Illinois

My first reaction to the news regarding International was how good it will be to have International back, followed quickly by this question: What exactly does one buy when purchasing a kennel club?


Beth Sweigart

Bowmansville, Pennsylvania

I think it is wonderful that this trio has taken on the task of revitalizing the great show with such a history! I hope it will enjoy as much success as the new Morris & Essex has. Congratulations and good luck for much success to all involved! 


Celeste M. Gonzalez

Thomasville, North Carolina

Great news that IKC is returning, and hopefully, in all its glory!

A venue that is not only welcoming to exhibitors, but also conducive to spectator attendance is key, so I think. 


Joan Krumm

Poplar Grove, Illinois

A big heartfelt congrats to the new owners of the IKC show! It is exciting to watch the handiwork of these three outstanding and capable owners, who will make this the premier dog show of the future right here in Middle America. Best wishes to you all!


Julie Felten

Wauconda, Illinois 

I am thrilled! I have fond memories of the show, including showing in the Miscellaneous classes with my then new breed, the Parson Russell Terrier. There was a huge presence of spectators, which I feel our sport could use again. More education about the purebred dog in current times would be a positive step forward. The vendors were amazing, and people came from all over just to shop and see the dogs. I hope they continue on with the tradition of a benched show and also the downtown Chicago location.


Azalea A. Alvarez

Southwest Ranches, Florida

As someone who grew up in Chicago and has fond memories of the show, I’m delighted to know it will be back. It was always a special show for handlers, breeders and exhibitors to showcase their best efforts. I look forward to making new memories there and wish the new team in charge much success.

Linda Tilka

Madeira Beach, Florida

I moved to Loves Park, Illinois, in 1969 from England. That year I started showing and breeding Standard Poodles. The Chicago International dog show was one of my favorite shows. Everyone who was anyone showed there. I met the icons of the Poodle world there. I met my mentors there. I saw some of the top dogs, breeders and handlers there. 

I live in Florida now, but would take my dogs there again just to experience it all over again.

Good luck to the show coordinators.


Bob Urban

Greenwich, Ohio

I wish the organizers and those involved all the best! The International was always a must attend, and I’ve got tons of great memories from their shows.


Sue Lackey

Covesville, Virginia

In its heyday, the Midwest was home to many of the country's most formidable handlers and breeders, and they all came together to fight it out at International. Very few people knew Lou and Seme on a personal basis and experienced International at its height, as Ken Murray has.  Kenny has never had a chance to show his full talents, and this is his moment to shine. All the right people are in place beside him (including Virginia), and I know this will be a big success. The dog-show world is in a precarious position right now, and we need to all pull together to present purebred dogs and dog shows in the best possible light, and to attract new fanciers. The resurgence of International is a rare chance to do so. I hope the fancy will come together and support International in the same way and in the same numbers that we come together for the great Morris & Essex show. This is a wonderful team undertaking a huge project, and giving back so much to the fancy. We all owe them our support and our entries.


Laurie King Telfair

Fayetteville, Arkansas

I’m delighted. The IKC show was on my bucket list to attend for years, but I never got to go. Then it disappeared. Now it’s coming back. Second chances don’t happen often! Good luck to the new owners.


Sulie Greendale-Paveza

Fort Pierce, Florida

I am thrilled at the news.  A yearly trip to the dog show was a family tradition ever since I was a toddler. Originally at the International Ampitheater, next to the stockyards, I remember hearing the steers mooing as we got out of the car. Year later, when it moved to McCormick Place, I showed dogs there. After I became a judge, I had the honor of doing my very first BIS assignment there. My entire family (relatives and dog family) were there to cheer me on. A day I will never forget. Wishing the new owners of IKC, my friends, all things good.


Desi Murphy

Monroe, New York

So excited when I got the call about International. It was an event I looked forward to every year when growing up.  


Delores Burkholder

Rockton, Illinois

Living in the area and having exhibited at the show and been a field rep and then judged there, it's super exciting to see it come back. Good luck to all involved.


Walter Sommerfelt

Lenoir City, Tennessee

I think it is fantastic. The International has a long and storied history and has always had a huge gate, which always helps in showing the sport to the general public. The new leaders are great dog people who have already proven they know how to put on a great show. Hats off to them for keeping the tradition alive.


M.C. Ptacek

Huntington, New York

This should be GOOD for our sport. As many clubs are facing issues with aging members, we need to reinvent how we go forward to bring back the public to our events, and to add them to our ownership ranks, to educate about who we are and what our purposefully bred dogs can do in conformation, agility, obedience, dock diving and so many outlets for THEIR dogs!

International was always one of the most prestigious shows and a GO TO for those wanting to compete with the best in the country.

Looking forward to the rebirth of a great show!


Christie Martinez

Port Ludlow, Washington

When I read about the revival of the International Kennel Club show at the “Windy City” (the third largest city in the U.S.), I found myself singing Sinatra's “Chicago” and “My Kind of Town.” 

This is exciting, and I can't wait to hear more: the venue, what's being offered, etc. Good job, all Illinois residents, Ken, Scott and Erika!


Ray Filburn

Newmarket, New Hampshire

Great! So many great memories of one of the best shows in the country! Wishing success to IKC. All show people should celebrate this comeback. 


Loraine Boutwell

Phoenix, Arizona

I am so happy International is back! We loved going there when we handled; then judging there was such a privilege. It was always a special show! I wish the new owners much success!


Brian Clegg

Cincinnati, Ohio

This is very exciting news. The return of a classic dog show, and to be managed by a group of very capable lifetime dog people. This group already has a history of staging/hosting shows of the highest quality. Wish them all the best.


Lorraine Paglini 

Jerome, Idaho

Glad to hear about IKC’s return to Chicago. Living in Chicago for 54 years, I attended IKC for many years and have lots of fond memories. I will miss showing there in the future since I live in Idaho now.


Barbara Burns 

Freeport, Illinois 

I know these four people very well and am so glad this venue is being resurrected. Ken, Scott, Jamie and Erika bring a vast amount of experience, knowledge and diversity to this club. I have fond memories of the IKC shows and am looking forward to seeing it succeed and bringing back the classic prestigious show it was to the Midwest.


Char Rutar

Noblesville, Indiana

As we all – show chairs, superintendents, exhibitors and judges – struggle through the quagmire the pandemic has caused, the Chicago news is HUGE! Hats off to the team of visionaries behind it. The heck with keeping things afloat: They are blasting forward to a new level. Dreams – enthusiasm – thinkin’ outside the box with a Can Do attitude? Yaaassss! Congratulations, guys; let us know what support you need from us. 



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