Salukis in back of automobile

Dogs’ Day Out

The New Year Cluster brings top dogs from across U.S. to Kennel Club of Palm Springs show.

Julie Pendray Attractions, Watch & Listen - Attractions

Salukis in back of automobile

Born to run. That’s the life of Ari and Rainey, a couple of desert-dwelling Salukis preparing for the New Year Cluster, an American Kennel Club–licensed event featuring all-breed dog shows and obedience and rally trials in January.

The two pups will join an expected 7,000 entrants at the annual Kennel Club of Palm Springs event, Jan. 5–8 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. More than 170 breeds recognized by the AKC may be represented, some of which are rarely seen by the public, according to Gay Dunlap, specialty shows coordinator for Kennel Club of Palm Springs.

Accomplished canines, owners, handlers, and judges come from all over the country. Some judges come from abroad, Dunlap says. People watching is well worth the visit to this free event. Spectators are allowed to bring lawn chairs, but no dogs other than entrants are allowed.

Ari and Rainey will compete in the Best of Breed and Veteran Sweepstakes, respectively. They’re sighthounds, bred to chase gazelle, rabbits, and other game, according to their Palm Springs owner, Charles Record. Salukis can average 35 mph for six miles, making them “the undisputed long distance runners of the dog world,” he says.

Kennel Club of Palm Springs

Last year’s New Year’s Cluster AKC show hosted by the Kennel Club of Palm Springs.

VIDEO: Palm Springs resident Charles Record speaks about the Saluki breed and the Kennel Club of Palm Springs event in January.


The Saluki is an ancient breed and that’s part of the appeal. Record has shared his life with Salukis for 25 years. “They are fairly serious and sensitive beings, which makes their moments of goofy playfulness all the more endearing,” he says. “They have an air about them that suggests they know a secret that has been passed down in their genes over thousands of years. They form incredibly deep bonds with people they respect. I’m quite proud of Ari and his littermates. They embody both the beauty and purpose of the breed.”

Ari, age 5, is an AKC Grand Champion and IABCA International Champion, says Record. Ari won a five-point Grand Championship Major, beating some of the top Salukis in the country at Lompoc last year, he says.

Judging at the New Year Cluster will begin at 8 a.m. each day; group judging starts mid-afternoon. Best in Show will be judged after 5 p.m. each evening. On Jan. 5 and 6, there will be breed specialties in addition to sporting, toy, hound, and non-sporting breed group shows. Jack Bradshaw Dog Shows of Los Angeles will serve as show superintendent for the AKC-sanctioned show.

Entries have been finalized; no dogs may be entered during the event. General admission is free; parking is $10. Food and beverages will be available, as well as unique pet toys and other items. Children are welcome but strollers are banned for safety reasons.

Kennel Club of Palm Springs Dog Shows, Jan. 5–8, Empire Polo Club, 81800 Avenue 51, Indio.

A junior entrant in the Kennel Club of Palm Springs New Year event in 2015.

Kennel Club of Palm Springs