First, I would like to personally thank all the attendees of this year’s Chinook National Specialty & Family Reunion! There were many first-time handlers learning something completely new in how to properly handle their dog, with some amazing results! A total of 28 Chinooks attended one or both days (listed at the bottom of this post). Get ready for the play by play!
Judge David Kittredge kicked off the show with three Junior Handlers: Two Novice Juniors and one Novice Senior handler. Here are the results for the Junior Showmanship class: Two Novice Juniors enter the ring: Isaiah Jolly and Jasper Williams. After careful consideration and conversation with each Novice Junior, Judge Kittredge selects: Isaiah Jolly. Then, the Novice Senior, Tristan Williams steps into the ring and takes the class. After several go rounds of the ring, the Judge selects Tristan Williams as the Best Junior Showman! Congratulations to Tristan and to all the Junior Handlers at this year’s Specialty!!
Next up are the Regular Licensed classes, starting off with a puppy male, Wachusett Gulbrun Brom (Chief), who takes the class.
Next in are the Junior Males: Mystique Pond Denali (Denali) and Frontier Kurt Rustle (Rustle) with Rustle taking Best Junior Male.
That completes the Class Males portion of the program, which means it’s time to determine the Best Male! So, back in the ring are Chief (for winning the Puppy class) and Rustle (for winning the Junior class), resulting in Rustle winning Best Male with Chief taking Reserve Best Male. Great competition and exciting to see two brand new handlers do so well!
Now, it’s time for the females with the Puppy Female class starting with competition between Platform’s Sol Althea Tonks (Thea) and Pacific Skye Qinuk. Competition is stiff and the judge decides the winner is Qinuk.
Junior Females are up next with two entries: Mystique Pond Bella Luna Ila Blue (Luna) and Desert Sol Galway Girl (Quinn). And the winner is: Luna!
The Adult Females then enter the ring with Aspencreek Laughing Kalia (Kalia) as the sole representative. Kalia takes the Adult Female class, which now sets up the competition for: BEST FEMALE.
The three winners (Qinuk – Puppy Female, Luna – Junior Female and Kalia - Adult Female) enter the ring. The Judge makes his selection, and the winner is Luna as Best Female!
Best of Winners is up next with a competition between the Best Male (Rustle) and the Best Female (Luna). After several rounds of the ring and a few more go overs, the winner is Luna as Best of Winners!
Now, the Champions enter the ring with representation by Desert Sol Keeper of the Stars (Renji), MountainThunder Terra Tomah (Terra), and MountainThunder Enya (Enya). After careful consideration the judges selects Enya as Champion of Champions with Terra as Reserve Champion.
Then, the Grand Champion class consisting of Mystique Pond Malina (Malina) and Mystique Pond Katyaaq (Kiana). The winner of the Grand Champion class is Malina with Kiana taking Reserve Grand Champion.
Now, it’s time to determine the National Best of Breed (NBOB). A hush comes over the crowd as the winners of each class enter the ring. Best of the Class dogs is Luna as the Best of Winners. Enya is the Champion of Champions and Malina is the Grand Champion. The competition is tight with those in the crowd that have their favorite. The Judge has made his decision and walks back to the center of the ring to announce the winner…..But, wait, he needs the microphone first! You can feel the anticipation reach its apex when the judge selects….Luna as NBOB! Congratulations to a beautiful 17-month-old girl!
With a buzz of excitement still in the air over Luna’s accomplishment, the next area of focus is on the Altered classes. First class up is the Altered Adult Male. The sole entrant, Gateway Juneau (Juneau) wins the class as the Altered Open Male, Sirius Rising Samwell Tarly (Sammie) enters the ring. Sammie takes the Open class setting up the competition for Best Altered Male, which goes to Sammie with Juneau taking Reserve Best Altered Male.
Now it’s time for the Altered Females to enter the ring beginning with Altered Junior Female. The sole representative for this class is Frontier Holly GoLightly (Holly) who takes the class.
Next up is the Altered Adult Female class which has four representatives: Frontier Still Water Runs Deep (Chelan), Seabreeze Tomorrow Bella Crie (Bella), Aspencreek Lila Nalea (Lila), Laughing Mountain Aspen Seeley (Seeley). All the dogs and their handlers did a great job with the decision going to Chelan!
Now we’re ready to determine Best Altered Female between Holly (winner of the Junior class) and Chelan (winner of the Adult class) and the judge’s decision goes to Chelan as Best Altered Female with Bella as Reserve Best Altered Female.
This means it’s time for the Best of Winners competition between Chelan (Best Altered Female) and Sammie (Best Altered Male) with the winner being Chelan. Next up is the Champion class consisting of Desert Sol Zazu’s Pride (Zazu) who takes the Altered Champion of Champions title. This sets up the competition to determine Best of Altered Breed between Chelan and Zazu and the winner is Chelan as Best of Altered Breed. Congratulations Chelan!!
After a seriously earned break for lunch, the group reassembles for the Non-Licensed events.
This starts with the Veteran class led by Juneau as the Veteran Male and a competition between Veteran Females Seeley and Terra. After a close competition, the winner is Terra, which sets up the competition for Best Veteran between Juneau and Terra. The judge makes his selection, and the winner is Terra as Best Veteran! I hear there is a very proud owner of this 11-year-old beauty!!
Next, it’s the Brood Bitches of which there are two: Enya and Seeley. Enya had three prodigies in the ring with her and Seeley had two. A few times around the ring and the judge determines that Enya is the Best Brood Bitch!
This brings us to the Chinook Cross Specialty of which there is only one entrant: A beautiful Chinook Bernese Mountain Dog cross named Desert Sol Vitality Aelin Fireheart (Aelin).
She wins the Cross Specialty and is named Best Chinook Cross Breed for 2023! Congratulations Aelin!
Next, we have two additional Special portions of the program. First we start with the Parade of TitleHolders. This year, we have two. One of which makes the writer of this report very happy indeed and that is the first titleholder named MountainThunder Great Kyraina. Jon Jolly gave a beautiful speech and praise for her as she is the Desert Sol kennel’s foundation bitch and we are so proud of her success in the ring and as a foundation for some truly great offspring. A big thanks to Jon and Kristy Jolly for being such good mentors to other potential breeders and Chinook families! Next up was another Desert Sol titleholder, Zazu. Jon gave another beautiful recap of Zazu’s accomplishments, one being that Zazu is the dam of this year’s Chinook Cross Specialty winner: Aelin!
Congratulations to all the TitleHolders as they got to proudly parade around the ring one more time for the special recognition they deserve!
The last “competition” some think shows the real Chinook temperament better than any of the other events listed here and that is the Chesterh Sweetie Award, given to the “sweetest” Chinook as deemed by whomever judges that contest.
This year’s Sweetie evaluation was conducted by Susan Burrell who also did such a wonderful job helping new handlers ready for the competition and was extremely helpful to show others how to better handle their dog. Susan went around the ring as this is open to ALL Chinooks who want to attend. After careful consideration, the winner of this year’s Chesterh Sweetie Award is Qinuk! (I can vouch that Qinuk does like to give LOTS of kisses!!!)
That concludes the 2023 Chinook National Specialty show report. We truly hope everyone had a great time, enjoyed the camaraderie in meeting new folks and seeing old friends again, learned some things about showing, structure and breeding, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Next year the Specialty is tentatively slated for Kalamazoo, MI and we hope to see you all there then.
Enjoy your Chinooks everyone and thank you again for making this year’s show something really special!
Dave Schiller, Show Secretary
For a summary of all the winners, go to the COA Specialty page
Special thanks to all that attended!
- Wachusett Gulbrun Brom (Chief)
- Mystique Pond Denali (Denali)
- Frontier Kurt Rustle (Rustle)
- Platform’s Sol Althea Tonks (Thea)
- Pacific Skye Qinuk
- Mystique Pond Bella Luna Ila Blue (Luna)
- Desert Sol Galway Girl (Quinn)
- Aspencreek Laughing Kalia (Kalia)
- Desert Sol Keeper of the Stars (Renji)
- MountainThunder Terra Tomah (Terra)
- MountainThunder Enya (Enya)
- Mystique Pond Malina (Malina)
- Mystique Pond Katyaaq (Kiana)
- Gateway Juneau (Juneau)
- Sirius Rising Samwell Tarley (Sammie)
- Frontier Holly GoLightly (Holly)
- Frontier Still Water Runs Deep (Chelan)
- Seabreeze Tomorrow Bella Crie (Bella)
- Aspencreek Lila Nalea (Lila)
- Laughing Mountain Aspen Seeley (Seeley)
- Desert Sol Zazu’s Pride (Zazu)
- Desert Sol Vitality Aelin Fireheart (Aelin)
- MountainThunder Great Kyraina
- MountainThunder Rainbow
- Mystique Pond Huron
- Desert Sol Appa
- WyoChinookWinds Charlie
- Desert Sol Kovu Jagger