The Australian Shepherd Club of America will bring its national finals to Grand Island in 2024 and 2025.
The announcement was made by the Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority. This will be an eight-day event that will take place in October of both years.
The shows are scheduled for Oct. 11-19, 2024, and Oct. 9-18, 2025, at Fonner Park.
This is a major event that hosts more than 1,000 dogs and will use the entire Fonner Park campus, according to GILCA. Dogs from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia will compete in areas including agility, conformation, junior showmanship, obedience, rally, scent search, stock dog, tracking and versatility.
“This event stands out because of its sheer size,” said Brad Mellema, Grand Island Tourism director.
The shows are expected to bring more than 2,000 people to town each year.
“Dog shows such as this prove the value of investing in animal events at Fonner Park,” Mellema said. “I think we’re going to see more large-scale dog shows such as this in the future, and we’re honored to welcome the Aussies to Grand Island.”
As defined by the ASCA, “The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. They are an exceptional companion, versatile and easily trained, performing assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm.”
“We are very excited to be able to host our Nationals in Grand Island at Fonner Park,” the ASCA Board of Directors said in a statement. “We thank the people at Fonner Park and G.I. Tourism for providing this opportunity. We have found everyone so helpful and easy to work with.
“ASCA is the largest single breed registry in the world and this is the largest single breed dog show in the world. It will be a great event for spectators and Aussie fans from Nebraska to attend. Upon visiting Fonner Park, we were impressed with the cleanliness of their state-of-the-art facilities and the friendliness of their staff.”
The city of Grand Island, Grow Grand Island and Grand Island Tourism, along with GILCA, are providing financial support for this event. A preliminary economic impact study based on the number of teams shows a direct impact for Grand Island at more than $650,000 for this eight-day show planned in Grand Island for two consecutive years.