Scottsbluff Kennel Club Holds American Kennel Club Dog Show in Mitchell | Local


Dublin the Great Dane and his handler, Erin Alzona, await a photo op with the judge who awarded the best of breed two-year-old at the Scottsbluff Kennel Club AKC show on Friday April 1.


The Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds is packed with dogs this weekend as the Scottsbluff Kennel Club hosts its annual American Kennel Club-sanctioned dog show in Mitchell.

The show started on Friday April 1 and will run until Sunday April 3.

In 2021, the event attracted a record number of dogs. Members of the show’s committee said that this year the show may be on the verge of surpassing that number. The surge in exhibitors could be because the club is hosting the first AKC show of the season since similar shows in Colorado were canceled two years ago. It could also be attributed to the fact that the show will be held at a later date, giving handlers the opportunity to gain some experience of the puppies in the show ring, organizers told the Star-Herald.

Suzanne Lilija-Kingma, associate chair of the show and president of the Scottsbluff Kennel Club, explained that the rapid growth of the three-day show has raised concerns about space.


Mycah the Butterfly may be small in stature, but she was a big presence alongside her handler, Sally Howard of Torrington, winning the Best of Breed award on day one of the Scottsbluff Kennel Club AKC dog show.


“We have outgrown our facilities,” she says. “It’s really difficult for exhibitors to walk through the aisles as they are.”

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Lilija-Kingma said the public was not invited to the event, as in years past, but will not be turned away.

“We’re just trying to limit the number of additional people causing traffic jams,” she said.


At just nine months old, Hula the Griffin was watching the dog show scene with her handler Kim Jones who hoped the process would lead to Hula being a little less excited in the show ring.


About 900 dogs of all sizes, their handlers, kennels and the equipment necessary for an exhibition at this level can take up a lot of space. The Scotts Bluff County Event Center will be divided into six show rings and two agility/obedience rings that will all run simultaneously from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Lilija-Kingma said the show will attract participants from as far away as Canada, Hawaii and South Carolina, and has seen dogs compete in the first Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

“It just depends on who’s trying to campaign with their dog and trying to win a Best in Show at a little show,” she said.


Roy, a Husky, was just lounging around before his breed hit the ring at the Scottsbluff Kennel Club AKC dog show on April 1.


In the past, some members of the public have attended the show to see the variety of dogs and talk to their handlers in an effort to decide if a particular breed is right for them.

Lilija-Kingma encouraged anyone with breed or dog show questions to visit the Scottsbluff Kennel Club website at

Nicole Heldt is a reporter for the Star-Herald and covers agriculture. She can be reached at 308-632-9044 or by email at [email protected]

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