A Brief History of Our Club

The name Del Monte Kennel Club was first used by the Ladies Kennel Association in 1908 for their annual shows in Del Monte, CA. The American Kennel club licensed these shows with Winners Classes offered in twenty or so breeds shown. The results of judging were sent to AKC and published in the American Kennel Gazette. Championships were then conferred on qualifying dogs by AKC.

In 1924, Samuel F.B. Morse organized the Del Monte Kennel Club as part of his Del Monte Properties. The Kennel club was a closed, private organization run by Mr. Morse and officers of Del Monte Properties. The club's annual show was held on the lawn in front of the Del Monte Hotel until 1946 as a hotel event. The occasion was quite prestigious, beautiful and elegant. It began on Saturday afternoon and lasted for two days. Twenty-seven breeds were represented in the 1924 show, with over 100 dogs entered. The train tracks from San Francisco ran right by the Del Monte Hotel. Dogs to be shown at the dog show in Monterey were sent from San Francisco in a special car and were returned to San Francisco after the show was over on the same train car.

By 1937, obedience was offered with Novice, Open and Utility divisions: the obedience entry was twenty-six dogs. Also, the individual breeds in conformation were classified and divided into six groups and by 1937; the total entry of the show was nearly 400 dogs. For the year 1938, it is of interest that AKC offered cash prizes to be competed for at all-breed shows.

Because of World War II no show was held in 1941. After the Del Monte Hotel was bought by the Navy and the property became the Naval Postgraduate School. The show was held in the parking lot of the Mission Ranch between 1946-1948. The entry in the show was just under 500 dogs. These years are described as a rather chaotic time when occasional drunks from Mission Ranch bars ended up in dog show rings. In 1949, the show was moved to the Lodge at Pebble Beach and was held in a site adjacent to the tennis courts.

In 1950 at the request of the AKC the closed membership of DMKC was opened to other local dog fanciers. This created the structure of the current club. The original twelve members were listed as follows: Samuel F.B. Morse, president and founder of Del Monte Properties, Henry Tiedemann, treasurer of Del Monte Properties; Mr. And Mrs. Derek Rayne, a terrier handler and the youngest AKC all breed judge; Joele Craige, wife of show veterinarian John Craige; Helen Heavy, wealthy friend of Mr. Morse; Marion Kingsland; Dr. Ralph Weston, veterinarian; Mr. And Mrs. Jake Huisenga, breeders of Irish setters and German Short haired Pointers, owners of Oxton Kennels in Salinas and Mr. And Mrs. Richard Collins, horse people who ran the stables at Pebble Beach (Collins field was named after).

In 1950, the 25th anniversary show was held on the lawn in front of the Lodge at Pebble Beach.http://www.loonhill.com/galleryDogs.htm# The show was benched and there were 508 dogs entered. Beginning in 1952, the show became permanently unbenched and it continued to be held in front of the Lodge until May 1968. By 1960, with an entry of 1555 dogs, the Del Monte show was the largest unbenched show in the nation and the 8th largest all-breed show. The annual summer show was called the "Classic of the Pacific".

Beginning in the latter 1950's the club organized conformation and obedience classes held as a community service. In 1959, the first of subsequent annual puppy matches was held at the Lodge in Pebble Beach. The match was moved to the fairgrounds in 1961.

In 1966, letters of incorporation were drawn up and Del Monte Kennel Club, Inc. a non-profit corporation was formed. At this point, the club's deposits were removed from Del Monte Properties and put into a separate club bank account. This completed the separation of the club from Del Monte Properties. In 1969 the club adopted a new constitution and bylaws of Del Monte Kennel Club and this provided for the election of an AKC delegate.

During the last three decades the club has continued to operate as an AKC licensed club. In the mid 1990's it was decided to combine our two annual shows into back-to-back shows held in mid July. This was necessary because of the increasing entries at our fall show coupled with the limitation of only 500 dogs for the summer Pebble Beach show at the Lodge due to the size of the lawn. The shows offer both conformation and obedience. The show site has changed over the years being held at the Carmel Middle School, Laguna Seca Regional Park, California State University of Monterey Bay and in 2008 moved back to the grounds at Carmel Middle School. A separate two-day Agility Trial is held in early June.