Sahuaro State Kennel Club, with its establishment dating back to 1940, has a rich history in Arizona. Its primary mission, then and now, is to serve the community, breeders, and exhibitors while promoting the advancement of purebred dogs in the greater Phoenix area.
The history of kennel clubs in Arizona is intriguing. The Arizona Kennel Club was the first in the state, holding its inaugural AKC licensed show in November 1916, with Dr. George W. Clayton as the sole judge. The catalog for the event was called the "Souvenir Book" and cost 10 cents.
Over the next 25 years, Arizona's kennel clubs underwent several transitions. Copper State Kennel Club, which followed, held its show in 1920 at the current Heart of the Desert Classic showgrounds, now known as the Arizona State Fairgrounds. The Phoenix Kennel Club, established in 1934, also played a role.
After the dissolution of Phoenix Kennel Club, the Sahuaro State Kennel Club emerged in 1940. Mr. Alfred Stump served as its first President, and their inaugural AKC licensed show took place in March 1941 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. The event garnered significant interest, attracting 352 entries and earned the moniker "The Westminster of the West." The entry count now necessitated the presence of two judges, Mr. & Mrs. Emmo from Ohio.
Throughout the years, the club has witnessed various changes in things, people, event formats, and locations. Despite these transformations, the focus on creating special, entertaining events that contribute to the betterment of purebred dogs and offer fun for everyone involved remains steadfast. Today, Sahuaro State Kennel Club takes pride in being the second oldest kennel club in Arizona, with the Tucson Kennel Club leading the way. The club's commitment to hospitality and dedication to their marvelous canine companions continue to thrive at the original site, the Arizona State Fairgrounds, which is proudly called HOME.