The American Kennel Club (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry, and Royal Canin, a global pet food company specializing in breed-specific nutrition, announced the launch of the inaugural AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes.
The National All-Breed Stakes is a competition created exclusively for puppy and junior purebred dogs ages 6-18 months (puppies 6-12 months / juniors 12-18 months). The event is open to all AKC-registered breeds, including Miscellaneous Class breeds, and provides an opportunity for breeders and exhibitors to showcase their breeding program. The inaugural Stakes will take place on Friday, December 15, in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center, in conjunction with the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin held December 16-17.
“Puppies and junior dogs are the future stars of our sport,” said Dennis B. Sprung, president and CEO of the AKC. “The AKC National Championship is the largest platform, in the United States, that highlights the best dogs from around the world. We are excited to focus on the next generation of champion purebred dogs.”
“Each year, the Show Committee strives to strengthen the National Championship, where the best dogs and the best breeders are recognized by world-class judges,” said Jason Taylor, assistant show chairman and national PRO sales director for Royal Canin. “We hope that this new Puppy and Junior Competition will be the next step in building the most important dog show of the year and give breeders and exhibitors yet another reason to make the National Championship a must-attend event.”
Judging for the Stakes will begin at the breed level and be divided into four age classes as follows: Puppy 6-9 months, Puppy 9-12 months, Junior 12-15 months and Junior 15-18 months. Each class will be divided by sex. The eight class winners will compete for Best of Breed and will be designated the AKC Royal Canin National (Breed) (Puppy/Junior) of the Year. Best of Breed winners will go on to compete in their respective Group (i.e. Sporting, Working, etc.); Miscellaneous Breeds will compete in their designated Group. Each Group winner will be designated the AKC Royal Canin National (Group) (Puppy/Junior) of the Year. First through fourth places will be awarded with monetary prizes ranging from $25-$1,000. Group winners compete to win Best in Stakes. This Best in Stakes winner will be crowned the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed (Puppy/Junior) of the Year.
The premium list and entry information will be available on AKC.org in September.