2020 MSDA Spring Event

** UPDATED Info:  Entries are Open! All entries for AKC events will be via Jim Rau Dog Shows, Inc. Entries close February 12th. MSDA’s Premium List  is available here.  **

* Some volunteers are still needed to help at the events. Check here for available jobs and to sign up. *

MSDA holds two of the largest sporting group conformation shows in the U.S. and, along with those, three days of all-breed obedience and rally trials, breed specialties, bird instinct clinics, and other activities. In 2020, the dates and major activities for MSDA’s events at the Howard County Fairgrounds (just south of I-70) in West Friendship, MD will be:

  • Thursday February 27th:
    • No events. Show location is available after 3 pm for setup. No entry after 10 pm.
  • Saturday February 29th:
    • Sporting Group Conformation
    • Designated Specialty – Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA)
    • All-Breed Obedience & Rally Trials
    • Bird Instinct Clinics 
    • Barn Hunt “Try-it”
    • Canine Good Citizen testing
    • MSDA Membership Meeting
      • To be held immediately following “Best in Show”
      • MSDA members (and their guests) are invited to attend a catered dinner and (dog) first aid seminar after the meeting. Click the membership meeting link above for much more information and to make your reservation.
  • Sunday March 1st:
    • Sporting Group Conformation
    • All-Breed Obedience & Rally Trials
    • Bird Instinct Clinics
    • Canine Good Citizen testing
    • Flyball demonstration and “race”

Also on the schedule are sweepstakes, owner-handled, junior handler, puppy and best bred-by-exhibitor competitions. There will be puppy sweepstakes and veteran classes, dog show tour and new exhibitor briefing (Saturday),  morning coffee & doughnuts (Sat & Sun), and an armband raffle and afternoon snacks on Saturday. The NSDTRC-USA also will be offering designated ringside mentoring areas for prospective judges.

CGC and CGCA testing will be available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. More specific times are to be determined. The fee is $10 per test.

There will be a Barn Hunt “try-it” on Saturday morning at 10 am in Barn 6 (next to the Main Exhibition Hall). This is not an official event or test, but is just for fun. For $15, a dog will have up to four minutes to find a rat hidden among the hay bales. Encouragement and advice will be available from an experienced instructor. (If you’re worried about what happens to the rat, don’t be: they are well-protected and are not harmed during Barn Hunt events.) All breeds are welcome to participate; you can sign up when you arrive at MSDA’s Spring Event. The Barn Hunt activity is being organized by the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club, which is holding a specialty event on Saturday.

There is a Flyball demonstration and “race” scheduled for Sunday afternoon, either in a semi-enclosed barn or outside if the weather is good. Watching the demonstration is free. The demo will show how to teach a box turn, how to teach how to grab the ball, how to teach the jumps, and then put it all together. Then, for just $5, you (a human!) get to race a Flyball demo dog. The race is a great activity for kids, but adults are welcome, too. The Sunday Flyball activity is being organized by the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club, which is holding a specialty event on Saturday.

The dog-loving public is invited to attend MSDA’s Spring Event! If you are interested in sporting dog breeds or obedience training for all dogs, a  dog show is a wonderful place to learn more since many hundreds of dogs will be entered. Check the published schedule (available here after mid-February) for judging times for the breeds or obedience events that especially interest you. We’ll also have preliminary counts of the number of dogs participating, by breed or obedience event. Although owners and handlers will be busy preparing dogs for judging before their time in the ring, you can view the dogs in their event and then afterwards have a chance to ask questions and make friends with owners, handlers and the dogs themselves. Dogs entered in these events are very friendly and love attention. Similarly, owners, handlers, and many of our spectators are very knowledgeable and are usually happy to share.

Event hours are officially 6:30 am – 6:30 pm all three days. However, actual activities generally start later and finish earlier.

The Fairgrounds’ official address is 2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship, Maryland 21794. It’s adjacent to I-70 and near that highway’s Exit 80. The grounds are open  until 10 pm each day. There is a $5.00 daily parking fee. Prime Parking and RV Parking are available at an additional charge and must be reserved in advance. See the Premium List for more information.

The Fairgrounds food vendor will be open all three days. Fairgrounds rules do not allow food to be delivered. So, you can buy something from them or bring in your own lunch but you  may not, for example, order a pizza delivery. Volunteers may get a free lunch!

Brittany and Golden Retriever Friday specialties, the Tollers’ Saturday specialty, all MSDA conformation, vendors, hospitality, and all admin tables will be in the Main Exhibition Hall located directly on the Midway. All MSDA Obedience and Rally events will be in “Barn 7/8”, which is just behind the small barns off the Midway to the left of the Main Hall.

The following clubs are supporting entries at the shows: Capital City Cocker Club, Capital Region Flat-Coated Retriever Club, English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America, Irish Setter Club of Greater Richmond, Irish Water Spaniel Club of America, Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac, Lower Susquehanna Irish Setter Club, Maryland Brittany Club, Mid Atlantic Field Spaniel Club, National Capital English Setter Club, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club – USA, Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club, Susquehanna Valley English Springer Spaniel Club, Sussex Spaniel Club of America, Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, and Wilderness Pointer Club.

The official photographer is David Sombach Photography.

Once again, the chair of this event is Richard Jackson. Please contact him directly with any questions.

There is still a need for plenty more volunteers to help make this event a success. Check here for available jobs and to sign up.

A big THANK-YOU to all who answered the call and sponsored trophies for our 2020 Spring Event!

We’ll continue to post updates on this page as plans are finalized for MSDA’s 2020 Spring Event, so be sure to keep checking in with us. Meanwhile, photos, some results, and lots of other information from our 2019 event are here. We also invite you to learn more about us, and sign up for our e-mail list to be updated (mostly via a monthly newsletter) on all club activities:

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