To showcase excellence in Great Pyrenees, the GPCA has developed the Top-20 Competition and Puppy Invitational which is held in conjunction with the annual National Specialty. These events are intended to educate and entertain judges, exhibitors, breeders and fanciers, as well as recognizing their breeders, owners and handlers. It provides the opportunity to spotlight those Great Pyrenees who attained the most outstanding records in Breed and All Breed competition and Specialty Puppy Sweepstakes during the previous calendar year. This competition is an added incentive for breeders and owners to strive to breed and show Great Pyrenees that excel in structure, movement, temperament and conformation as described in the AKC approved written breed standard.
The qualifiers for Top-20 Competition are based on points earned in Breed, Group, and Best In Show in AKC conformation competition during the previous calendar year. The standings are based on point totals as published by the AKC, beginning for the period January 1 and ending December 31 of the year prior to the Top-20 event.
The qualifiers for Puppy Invitational are based on National and Regional Specialty Best In Sweepstakes, Best of Opposite In Sweepstakes, National Specialty Best In Futurity and Best Of Opposite In Futurity. Working Group Specialty winners do NOT qualify.
Owners, co-owners, and handlers must be in good standing with the American Kennel Club and the Great Pyrenees Club of America, but need not be a member of the GPCA. Owners, co-owners, and handlers must agree to abide by all of the Top-20 rules. These rules apply to the finalists’ participation in this event and failure to follow these rules may revoke the privilege of future participation, regardless of eligibility.
Spayed bitches and neutered dogs that have been named among the Top-20 may compete in this event, as well as any dog/dogs owned or co-owned by the GPCA National Specialty slate of Judges. Any previous Top-20 winners are excluded from competition but may be invited and may participate as “Exhibition Only” and will be so noted in the Top-20 Catalog. Any deceased finalist will be invited and will be granted the same honor as the rest of the Top-20 participants; i.e., catalog pages, biography and rosette. Dogs invited to appear for “Exhibition Only” will be charged a partial entry fee to cover printing and rosette costs.
When the final statistics for the previous year have been compiled, the Top-20 Great Pyrenees in Breed and All Breed are invited to participate in the competition subject to the GPCA Top-20 event Rules and Regulations. The list of Puppy Invitational qualifiers will be provided by the GPCA Vice President. The invitations will be sent by the Top-20 Committee and will be addressed to the dog’s owner. An Entry form will be included with the invitation and the owner must enter no later than six weeks prior to the date of the event. The number of dogs eligible and invited to the Top 20 is based on the dogs actually ranked in the Top 20 by Breed and All Breed points by AKC. Based on numeric “ties”, the AKC might actually list more than 20 dogs in the Top 20. All of the dogs in the AKC Top 20 by Breed points and All Breed points will qualify for this competition.
ALL past winners that do not qualify, living or deceased, are offered ad space at a discounted rate.
When the final statistics for the previous year have been compiled, the Top-20 Great Pyrenees in Breed and All Breed are invited to participate in the competition, subject to the GPCA Top-20 event Rules and Regulations. The list of Puppy Invitational qualifiers will be provided by the GPCA Vice President. The invitations will be sent by the Top-20 Committee and will be addressed to the dog’s owner. An Entry form will be included with the invitation, and the owner must enter no later than six weeks prior to the date of the event. The number of dogs eligible and invited to the Top 20 is based on the dogs actually ranked in the Top 20 by Breed and All Breed points by AKC. Based on numeric “ties,” the AKC might actually list more than 20 dogs in the Top 20. All of the dogs in the AKC Top 20 by Breed points and All Breed points will qualify for this competition.
An entry fee, the amount of which shall have been determined by the Top-20 Committee is to be returned with the entry form. In addition, the dog’s biography of no more than 400 words and a photograph, to be used for the Top-20 Catalog must be returned to the Top-20 Chairperson no later than six weeks prior to the date of the competition.
Entrants will only be allowed to compete if their owner, co-owner, or handler attends the mandatory briefing that is held at least one hour prior to the start of Top-20 judging. No exceptions will be made.
Following GPCA Guidelines for regular National Specialty competitions, i.e, Futurity, Sweeps, and Conformation, all GPCA Board members, GPCA National Show Chairman, Assistant, and Top Twenty/Puppy invitational committee members are allowed to compete in the event.
Just as a person listed on the slate of judges for the current year’s GPCA National Specialty show, including Sweepstakes and Futurity may not exhibit in regular competition BUT they may have a dog/dog’s they own or co-own that qualifies exhibited in the GPCA Top 20/Puppy Invitational. The dog/dogs are not allowed to be shown by the slate of judges or anyone living under their roof and are not required to be entered in the regular National Specialty classes.
The Top 20 Committee
The Top 20 Committee will be composed of the Top 20 Chairperson and at least Two (2) Committee members. The Top 20 Chairperson will be approved and appointed by the GPCA Board of Directors. The Top 20 Chairperson will select the Committee members. Each year the committee members may change based on the GPCA National Hosting club.
Judges, Eligibility, and Selection
The Top 20 Committee will vote on the final selection of judges by a secret ballot from the top two judges in each category submitted by the previous year qualifiers owners.
The Top 20 committee will choose a designated committee member who has not bred, owned, or co-owned a dog in the Top 20 competition or Puppy Invitational for that year to tally the votes submitted by the committee members. This committee member will also serve as ballot tabulator with two others that have not bred, owned, or co-owned a dog in competition of the event.
After each National Specialty, all owners of that year’s Top 20 qualifiers and the Top 20 committee members will be contacted by a Top 20 committee member to submit the name of a judge in each category for consideration. The location of the National Specialty should be kept in mind. The Committee member will tally the names submitted and send the top two (2) names in each category for consideration on to the Top 20 committee to cast their secret ballot to be sent to the designated committee member. The designated committee member will secure the acceptance of the winning judges, based on their availability with a signed contract. The designated committee member is responsible for all communication with the judges and all arrangements necessary. The winners in each category will be revealed only to those Committee members who must know, i.e. the Top 20 Catalog Chairperson.
Selected Judge’s names will be kept strictly CONFIDENTIAL until the day of the event. The judges will be required to sign a document that swears them to secrecy. If a judge violates this agreement, they will be disqualified, and the designated committee member will secure the next judge selected based on their availability.
The committee will vote for one judge from the names submitted from each of the following categories:
HANDLER: A past or present professional handler, with demonstrated credibility in the breed, and has a minimum of 10 years as a professional handler.
BREEDER; An established Great Pyrenees breeder who has been breeding for a minimum of 15 years, and having bred or co-bred at least 5 champions of record as published in the AKC Awards, and who may or may not be an AKC-approved judge for Great Pyrenees.
MULTI-BREED AKC APPROVED JUDGE: An AKC-approved judge who is approved to judge Great Pyrenees, at least 1 group and Best In Show.
RULES OF ETIQUETTE; The Top 20/Puppy Invitational is a special event. All attendees, spectators, judges, and participants are encouraged to dress in theme when noted. If you choose not to dress in theme, semi-formal attire is preferred; men in business suits or tuxedo, and women in cocktail/evening clothes. Business casual is acceptable. Please, no jeans unless noted by theme.