The 2015 USRC IPO Championship & National Sieger Show
The United States Rottweiler Club (USRC) held their 2015 IPO Championship & National Sieger Show on December 4th-6th in Scottsville, Kentucky. The event was hosted by the O.G. Patriot Schutzhund Club – Sharon Wilson and her husband Brandon who is currently President of USRC.
To be honest, the last thing I needed to do was join another Rottweiler club. However, with this year’s USRC Nationals taking place less than four hours away from me, and it being the only one of the four Rottweiler clubs (American Rottweiler Club, Rottweiler Klub of North America, and Alliance of Independent Rottweiler Klubs being the other three) that we hadn’t competed in at their “Nationals” level event, I decided to join. It would also give me the opportunity to check them out as an organization. USRC seems to be an organization which is “in transition” – to put it mildly. While the organization has enjoyed a vibrant and robust past, visiting their member-only discussion forum shows a sharp decline in activity/membership around the 2009-10 time frame. It was around this time that USRC apparently tried to force the FCI breed standard on their members and ban tail docking, as well as when long time USRC member Jane Mitchelmore left the organization and formed Rottweiler Klub of North America.
Our Rottweiler Zeus Sohn Von Holbrook Vom Krafthaus would show on Sunday morning in the Open Male class, but we decided to drive down to the Bowling Green, KY area on Friday night. This would allow us to watch the Obedience and Protection phases of the IPO Championship on Saturday. Blame it on the current state of USRC or perhaps the December event date – unfortunately the USRC IPO Championship & National Sieger Show was not well attended. Only about 80 dogs were entered in the Sieger show, and just six dogs competed in the IPO event. Despite the low turn out, O.G. Patriot Schutzhund Club put on a very enjoyable event.
Before I share the photos I took at the IPO trial, I’ll share a cautionary tale. Event photography is becoming a very thorny problem for clubs trying to host events – this isn’t just a USRC issue. It would seem that fewer and fewer people are willing to pay for quality photography – the essence of the problem. In the past, clubs could pay a photographer to work an event, and it would be a money maker for them because the club would sell the photos to the competitors – everybody was happy. Now people seem to be largely pleased with grabbing a few mobile phone pics, which has driven down demand for professional photos to the point where clubs no longer can pay photographers to attend. Instead, they invite photographers to come to events at their own expense and they can sell photos to whomever will buy them. The tricky part here is that the really good photographers want clubs to grant them exclusivity – no one else attending the event but them can take photos. Being a professional photographer, I totally understand the need for the photographer to be able to make money. However at this event, no photographer was listed in the premium as attending – my assumption was there wouldn’t be a photographer. Neither were there any regulations/rules printed in the premium about attendees taking photos. Despite this, I was twice asked not to take any photographs at the event (eventually I was granted permission to take photos for “personal use.”) For what it’s worth, I think it’s bad business for both the event and the photographer to to harass people at an event to not take photos – particularly if the expectations aren’t set up front.
Here are the photos I took from the IPO protection phase – as a relative newcomer to IPO it was great to see Rottweilers (as opposed to German Shepherds I normally see) doing protection work – I learned a lot:
The only disappointing part was seeing only six dogs entered in the IPO Trial of the USRC Nationals. This event just didn’t draw the numbers of competitors, or the level of competitors one would expect to see at a National level event.
Despite the disappointing number of entries, the Sieger Show portion of the event was well run and refreshingly drama-free. ADRK judge Uwe Petermann was brought in for the judging – our second time showing to him. Zeus ended up taking V3 in a small but competitive class of world-class dogs. A higher placement would have been great, but we’re well pleased – if you get a V rating under Uwe Petermann, you’ve done something. Unfortunately, we were not presented with an award for our third place win as was the case in other classes – not enough awards were ordered given the relatively small number of entries. An award for our V3 placement was however ordered and shipped to us in February of 2016:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the Rottweiler Sieger Community individually and collectively needs to get their acts together when it comes to entering shows. Most of the entries for this show came within just a couple of days of the entry closing date (which had to be extended). The show accepted entries roughly two months ahead of the event – there’s not excuse for the rush of last minute entries which make it extremely difficult on the show organizers.
I don’t know if plaques were chosen as awards due to the low number of entries, or other considerations but I personally don’t like plaques as an award – particularly at a Nationals level event. I always come away thinking “all this work and expense and they couldn’t give us a real trophy?” NOTE: Apparently the show organizers did read my original article because as you can see from the above photo, they did send me a trophy, not a plaque, which was quite nice of them.
Here’s a few photos of Zeus and I taken during the Open Male class competition in the Sieger show by event photographer Donna Haynes Photography:
Many thanks to the O.G. Patriot Schutzhund Club for putting on a quality event. Hopefully USRC can schedule their Nationals earlier in the year next year, and continue the work needed to revitalize the organization.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.