Sunday, May 2, 2010

2 May 1935: Dog and Pony Show at UGA!

On this day in 1935, as part of UGA's College of Agriculture Livestock-Legume Day, the Sirloin and Saddle Club sponsored "a Dog and Pony show at 3:30 this afternoon and the 15th Little International Livestock show at 7:30 tonight."

Organizers expected at least 2,000 people to attend the day's activities, starting at 10 in the morning with terracing demonstrations and inspections of dairy cattle, alfalfa, winter legumes and haying machinery. The afternoon dog show would include approximately 150 dogs, competing by breed and sex, with a overall champion being chosen as well. Though usually done together, past high turnouts made it necessary for the Livestock Show and the Dog and Pony Show to be separated.

The events were held at Hardman Hall, built in 1922 for the animal husbandry and veterinary schools. Part of the structure was an outdoor amphitheater for judging events such as these shows and Dairy Day. In 1967 the amphitheater was filled in as part of the construction of the Boyd Graduate Studies Building. Hardman Hall is now "Home of the Flying Bulldogs," UGA's Air Force ROTC.

The Saddle and Sirloin Club was founded in 1920, and is now the Block and Bridle Club at UGA. They sponsor multiple livestock judging events every year, including the Little International Livestock Show in the fall and the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo each spring.

Approximately 500 people attended the 1935 Dog and Pony Show. Winner of the Dog division was N. T. Polk's "Walker Fox Hound," and for the Pony division, the winner was ridden by Wilson Hayes. No name or breed for the victorious pony was provided in media reports, though owners of winners of each dog breed, including one for "Miscellaneous," were reported in the Athens Daily Times the next day.

Among the breeds competing was the "July Fox Hound," a line of foxhound originating in Hancock County, Georgia in 1858, bred for increased speed and agility to catch red foxes. The July hounds are descended from a male named "July" who was bred with Georgia Birdsong hounds and Virginia and Maryland Henry hounds to create the new strain. In 2007, the Georgia House passed Resolution 724, honoring the original July Foxhound and recognizing the historical marker placed in Sparta where the dogs were originally bred.

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