Veterinary students and mentors
TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO FINGER LAKES DOG SHOW WORLD BY MELANIE GREAVER CORDOVA PHOTOS BY CAROL JENNINGS/CORNELL CVM Cornell Veterinary Students
O n a clear Saturday morning in early October, a car- avan of veterinary students winds its way through vineyards and the lush Finger Lakes National For- est, heading from the Cornell College of Veteri- nary Medicine to Romulus, New York, where this year’s Wine Country Circuit dog shows are on the third day of exhibitions. The event is a unique opportunity for students to refine their understanding of dog breeds and explore how veterinar- ians intersect with the American Kennel Club (AKC) dog show world. Their objective for the day is to listen, watch and learn. “Few veterinary students have a chance to work at a dog show like this,” says organizer and event judge Susan Hamlin, who has been judging dog shows for 50 years. The Wine Country Circuit is one of the largest dog show circuits in the country. Four independent kennel club shows happen over four days at this yearly event at Sampson State Park: Elmira Kennel Club, Finger Lakes Kennel Club, Kana- dasaga Kennel Club and the Onondaga Kennel Association. Each of the four shows feature conformation, obedience and agility, and averages a daily total of over 1,400 dogs. Many go on to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
The 19 Cornell students arrive bright and early for their Satur- day Elmira Kennel Club event. Students are assigned a mentor, and they spend the day getting an inside look into the world of breeders, exhibitors, field veterinary care providers and more. “We were pleased to be able to send students to advance their understanding of different dog breeds and interact with the dog show community,” says Dr. Meg Thompson, director of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. “I hope that this is the beginning of a long-term relationship, benefiting not only dog sports, but also canine health providers,” says Carol Srnka, event liaison and agility coordinator for all four days. Srnka currently sits on the board of directors for the Finger Lakes Kennel Club and has been involved with the event since 1986. Although this is the first year with student involvement, Cor- nell has had a presence at the circuit for a long time. Retired oph- thalmology professor Dr. Thomas Kern runs an eye exam clinic for the dogs on the show grounds, and Dr. N. Sydney Moise, M.S. ’85, retired CV Starr Professor of Cardiology, holds a cardiovascular clinic. Not only did Cornell clinicians provide the on-site veteri- nary care, but Hamlin herself retired from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
210 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2021
Powered by FlippingBook