GREAT FALLS — One of the oldest sports in the country is back in Great Falls in the form of the Electric City Kennel Club’s Big Sky Fall Cluster, a weekend-long dog show with various events for dogs of all breeds.
The Kennel Club was formed in 1949 and has seen its fair share of dog days. This weekend will have four of those dog days as more than 400 dogs will be participating this weekend in different events and more than 100 breeds are present as well.
The event was canceled last year due to Covid, but more people are back this year and are excited to show Great Falls what their dogs can do.
Kennel Club Treasurer Christian McClelland said the event has been happening for more than 60 years and that this year will be a good turnout since last year’s show couldn’t happen.
“The entries are a little bit up just because people are so ready to get to living normally again and they’re super excited to be here too. It’s a great weekend and we all love seeing other people and their dogs,” McClelland said.
McClelland added that dog shows are one of the oldest sporting events in the country. The Westminster Dog Club is second in age only to the Kentucky Derby.
With that age comes a lot of people who have trained dogs over the years and the current generation is a part of that as well. Kindra Shannon is a third-generation dog trainer who has learned the tricks of the trade from her grandmother and mother and is ready to be back in her hometown showing her dogs off.
She is showing a Leonberger named Roman this year which she says is the biggest breed she’s worked with but has had a good year of going back to shows with her family.
“My grandma started out when she was 16 or 17 and my mom was born into it. She started when she was three and I’ve been showing dogs since I was four,” Shannon said. “2020 really put a downer on everything because there weren’t any shows to go, but I’m much happier now getting to show my dogs and I’ve gone to a lot of different shows this year.”
You can visit the Kennel Club website for more information.