A lifelong dream has come true for Battleford resident Robyn McGonigle. She and her golden retriever Skittles are heading to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
“I’m so proud of him. A lot of work goes into conditioning, you have to keep the coat up, he gets groomed and bathed once a week and goes for a run every day,” McGonigle said.
McGonigle and her partner William Calder run Castlefin Goldens, a kennel in Battleford where they raise golden retrievers for show.
“I’ve always loved animals. I was 17 when I started and I was working with all sorts of dogs, but when I opened my own kennel I decided to focus on golden retrievers”
Westminster is one the most prestigious dog show in the world. McGonigle said it isn’t exactly easy to win a trip.
“To qualify you need to have one major in the U.S., which is a three point win at one of their all-breed shows; Skittles actually has five points,” McGonigle said.
Skittles’ first major was in Salt Lake City in May of 2015 and also grabbed a two point win in his first ever show in Iowa in 2012.
“In 2014 we did a few shows with him and that’s when he was number eight golden retriever in Canada. He had last year off and now he’s going to be campaigning for number one golden retriever in Canada,” McGonigle said adding Skittles’ mother and father won numerous Canadian titles.
Westminster takes place Feb. 15 and 16. Skittles will be entered in the sporting group. If he wins his group, he will be entered in Best in Show; Westminster’s top prize.
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