Bullys Save the World! The Heavy Blades Bully Show
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
American Bullys Fun Show would make MLK proud.
There are many events for dogs in Florida, but if you are a "Bully" owner, this is one you'll want to visit. I headed to Mary Holland Park in Bartow, Florida to see what the Heavy Blades American Bullys Event was. We had received invites before but could never attend. However, we cover many events and often breed specific ones have small to medium turn outs. We were completely surprised by this one.
It was a cool, but comfortable day. The sun was shining and the most pleasant weather in Bartow. As we drove into Mary Holland Park I could see the large number of tents, vehicles and vendors could be seen across the small lake there and became ever larger while approaching.
Unlike typical events, and despite the large number of dogs, there was very little barking and instead a true party feel as several small vendors provided food and refreshments and DJ Raffy Raffy kept the air filled with music perfect for the Bad Azz Bully’s.
The crowd as easily the most mixed we have seen to date. From rural to urban and every race, and probably religion. There was nothing but smiles, laughing and a sense of big and comfortable group of people there with a shared love for this breed of bulldog. Martin Luther King JR would have been very pleased to see a great representation of his cause realized this day in Florida.
“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Jess had a dream
Jessica Reyes grew up on a farm in Purto Rico. From her earliest memories, bulldogs were part of the farm and her family. After years of breeding show dogs from ShitZu to Collie she returned to her childhood friends and started Heavy Blades Kennel and a few years back decided to take her American Bully's for a walk. She invited her friends, who invited theirs, and one thing led to another.
Jess has become one of Florida's best known and adored advocates for the Bully breed.
“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” Martin Luther King Jr.
With her friend Megan Chase they started a series of Bully events around the state. Securing venues and sponsors, these Bully events are growing fast.
Though frustrated by the common perceptions of her beloved Bully and stoked in the media today she is assured of a better future when seeing the large crowds at her events. Every age, and background and all sharing a goal to see the breed defended and flourish.
The American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) defines the American Bully
The American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant willingness to please and bond with their family, thus making the American Bully an excellent family companion. Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanor is gentle. They are great with kids, and extremely friendly with strangers, other dogs, and other animals. Human or dog aggression, extreme shyness, or viciousness is very uncharacteristic of the American Bully and is highly undesirable.” - ABKA
Did You Know?
United States between 1980 and 1990, the American Bully was produced using a foundation of American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers bred to several bulldog-type breeds.
It was created with the purpose of being a family companion dog.
A Breed Show Apart
The breed is recognized by most registries from United Kennel Club (UKC) and American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). The conformation trials usually conform to the traditions expected, but in this community, they have “Fun Shows” too. This relaxed event includes conformation for bragging rights and local trophies, but also games perfect to the breed called “Hang Time" where these Bad Azz Dogz get to compete for longest hold on a suspended lure with those famous jaws.
Anthony Gray of Superior Bully Kennel made a five hour drive from Cameron, North Carolina to judge the conformation trials. As with any registry, the breed of American Bully has specific breed standards, and today the rules were of the oldest registry in the USA, the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKA) and the American Bulldog has four categories including Standard, Pocket, XL and Classic.
Anthony worked for many years to train and re-home shelter dogs and saw first hand the overwhelming number of bulldogs surrendered.
He wanted to do more for himself and the breed and began working specifically with the American Bully. Training, Handling, Showing and providing exhibitions throughout N. America.
He has been a show judge for the last year and was invited to today's event that included all the breed groups and a special Junior Handlers round. He explained that Judging was not as stressful as one may think. By following the standards of the guide given by ABKC he looks for the one dog that best conforms to those standards, but his favorite? The kids.
The kids. Like to see the excitement in the kids. To see that excitement, and if you keep them happy while they’re learning they take it in” “If you make it fun for them, they in turn will make it fun” - Anthony Gray
Did You Know?
The AKC lists Bulldogs as Friendly, Courageous, Calm and are their 4th most popular breed.
The Hog Man
Blas Esqueva (AKA "The Hogman") had hunted for years with various gun dogs (Hounds) but soon after he moved from Houston, TX to join his family in Acadia, Florida he found himself falling in love with the "Bully".
“if you spend time with your Bulldog, they are love and real trainable. If you someone who just chains them in a yard, this is going to have problems.” - Blas Esqueva
In the Hound community there are many events and tests across the USA, but after adopting the American Bully as his dog, he could find no similar events or activities. So the Heavy Blades events brought him here and the "Hogman" and his pup were in "hog heaven".
Did you know? The American Bully is a highly adaptable breed, often acting as a laid back companion dog in the home while showing a zest for life and energy while outside.
Many dogs, despite acting as lap dogs in the home, do well in sports such as weight pull and flirt pole. Despite excelling in such sports and public misconception, dog and human aggression is discouraged in the breed.
The Wrap Up
Our first road trip of 2019 brought us to a new experience. After a busy Florida competition season in many sports for a variety of breeds, the sharp contrast in the Bully Fun Show was striking.
The event achieved many things that have proven elusive to many of the nations top canine organizations. From the overwhelming number of families and children to the most diverse attendance I have seen at any dog show, Jess and her friends have found the Holy Grail of ingredients for the modern dog show. Though rough around the edges, it is that homegrown feel that made this a wholly welcoming and fun event for all the pups and people at this 2nd Annual Bully Meet and BBQ.
- Rob Robinson Bad Azz Dogz
See what you Missed or Re-live the Event
Our Photo-Feature and see for yourself what you may have missed or relive the moments from the
Heavy Blades 3rd Fun Show/Meet N Greet/Bbq
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Heavy Blades Kennel
American Bully Kennel Club http://theabkcdogs.org
Superior Bully Kennel
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