KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Stegman Rockstar, the Massive English Mastiff that represented Vincennes during the 2014 Westminster Dog Show in New York has since returned home to take a bit of time off.
News 10 sat down with Kim Wampler, Stegman’s owner, to talk about the hustle and bustle of Dog Show Life.
“I do tell people I eat, sleep and drink dog … I pretty much, yeah I guess I’m a fanatical,” said Wampler. Wampler owns Four On the Floor Boarding, Grooming and Training just on the outskirts of town. Not only does the award winning dog owner take care of her own four mastiffs, but also cares for animals brought to her business.
In February, the then 240 pound English Mastiff, made the journey to New York with Wampler take part in the pinnacle of dog shows, Westminster. While Stegman did not win the cable broadcast competition, Wampler noted, Stegman was ranked the number two hound in his class.
Despite the loss, the focus shifts after such an important event.
“After you hit that, now the pressure is, where am I going to come up with my next breeding, how am I going to have another dog that is good, or better than Stegman,” said Wampler.
And in regards to Stegman not taking home top honors: “I think that it’s just, ya know, some dogs want it more,” she added.
On Thursday, Wampler and Stegman gave News 10 a mini-performance high lighting the routine leading up to a competition.
As part of the routine, the 243 pound mastiff gets his paws washed, a little bit of lotion on his nose to make it shimmer, and a very good brushing to rid him of loose hair.
That’s just the prep.
Owner Kim also keeps a cooler with cool water, and a specially made towel engraved with guitars which helps keep Stegman’s body temperatures down for warm temperature competitions.
“He always has a water bottle, and we mist this on him to keep him cool,” said Kim, spraying Stegman around the head and in the mouth for a drink.
It’s not an easy task keeping Stegman fed; but perhaps more interesting, keeping a fleet of English Mastiff’s fed. Wampler told News 10 she has four of them.
“I actually order my meat in bulk, 1000 pounds delivered by truck, I have four deep freezers,” said Wampler.
And in response to just how fanatical dog show competitors can be?
“And so when you’re floating around that ring watching your dog, uhm you hear people say things, ya know and their entitled to their opinions, just as you are yours, so yes, there is politics, and yes there are backstabbers,” said Wampler. “Stegman’s called a once in a life time dog, which means that, you know, there’s people that have been breeding in the dog world for years and years and have never produced you know, anything that, you know got them to that level.”