A Bit of PCA History
The excitement and splendor of our present Poodle Club of America specialty shows should make us all look back and question "How did this all begin?"
In Volume I of Poodles in America, edited by William H. Ivens Jr., we find valuable historical data including an article, "The Poodle in America before 1929" by Miss. Flora M. Bonney.
Dr. Ivens states that the Poodle Club of America was formed in 1931 when interest in the breed was steadily climbing. In 1932, a "new" standard for the breed was approved by AKC and published. And the first specialty show was held by Poodle Club of America in June of 1932 at North Westchester as would be the National Specialties through June of 1937.
In 1938 PCA held it first independent specialty at Far Hills New Jersey. The entry at this show was 142 Poodles. In the following years, PCA moved to Rye, New York, was cancelled in 1942, and a part of Westminster Kennel Club from 1943 through 1945. In 1946, PCA moved to Garden City, New York where it remained for many years. Other show sites included Bryn Mawr Polo Grounds, Ludwig Corners, PA, and Upper Marlboro, MD.
During the early years, it was permissible for the specialty clubs for breeds divided by Varieties to hold their specialty shows within an All Breed show and to give an award for Best of Breed. However, this was no longer possible after July 1, 1965 when the rule was changed.
In other breeds, there were numerous Parent Clubs which served their breeders by holding regional specialty shows throughout the United States and were not locked in to one geographical area. After numerous discussions and the passage of several years PCA decided to hold a Regional specialty event in addition to the annual Parent Club specialty show. This was held in Topeka, Kansas in 1974. It was hosted by the Poodle Club of Topeka and supported by other Poodle Clubs in the region.
Since the first Regional PCA Specialty there have been many successful events across the United States, the most recent being held in December 2009 in Long Beach, California.
Clearly, we love our Poodles and we want them to be exhibited where they can be seen and appreciated for their intelligence, beauty and their irrepressible personalities.
Helen Lee James
PCA Past President