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CSCA National Specialties

As proposed by Eunice Gies, the seven of us showing Clumber Spaniels at the Westminster KC show February 14, 1972, met after the showing of Clumbers to found the Clumber Spaniel Club of America.  It was not until 1978, however, that the CSCA was approved to hold its first AKC National Specialty.  It was a humble beginning, held in the backyard of Mary Ann Cianciolo, near Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We slept in sleeping bags on her dining-room floor or in her yard, sharing potluck meals, but were a joyous lot!  Never had any of us seen so many Clumbers in one place!

For the 39 National Specialties past or approved, only seventeen - less than a third - of the fifty states are represented.  The leading state is California where the Specialty has been located eight times, followed by Pennsylvania with five times, and Florida and Michigan each with three times.  Thus just four states account for almost half (19 out of 39) of these shows.  And only four towns account for more than a quarter (10 out of 39): Ann Arbor (MI) with 3, San Marcos (CA) 3, Narragansett (RI) 2, and Orlando (FL) 2.

Eight judges have each officiated at two Clumber National Specialties.  Ann Rogers Clark (1981, 1995), James Fankhauser (2007, 2014), Rae Furness (1979, 1990), and Ronald Pemberton (1986, 1998) have judged conformation twice each.  Mary Bown (1983, 1996), Ralph Dunne (2005, 2012), and Judy Webb (1989, 2006) have each judged sweepstakes once and conformation once.  Leslie Connell has twice judged sweepstakes (1994, 2007).  Sheila Miller judged sweepstakes once (1985), and twice (1979, 2004) was show chair.  Geraldine Buchanan (Jamar) judged sweepstakes once (1992) and served as show chair once (1998), while Pat Behrns (1978, 1988) and Cathy Dorris (2012, 2015) each count twice as show chair.

As would be expected, our first National Specialty had the lowest entry: 34 Clumbers.  Truly exceptional for a rare breed, almost half (16 out of 37) counted 100 or more!  The largest entry was at the 2008 Shawnee-on-Delaware show, hosting the International Clumber Spaniel Symposium.  We took over a beautiful private golf club situated on an idyllic river front, and with Clumbers entered from several foreign countries, there was a total of 193  - almost certainly the greatest number ever assembled in one place at one time.

Compiled from my collection of National Specialty catalogues, the list here is intended as an overview.  Months vary from March to November; days are those sweepstakes and conformation were judged.  Names are as recorded in the catalogues.  Numbers represent Clumbers supposedly present.  Absentees are known only to God and the AKC - and they're not talking.

Bryant Freeman

Breed Historian

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