The International Puppy 2017 Contest celebrated its Fifth Anniversary with Pup Rex Sheppard finishing tops among 11 contestants at R-Bar in St. Louis, MO on Saturday night, July 16 in front of about 200 cheering spectators. The runner-up was Pup Rok.

Main events were scheduled to be at JJ’s Clubhouse, but had to be moved due to an electric outage from a severe storm that hit St. Louis earlier in the week that knocked out power to over 100,000 people. JJ’s Clubhouses was among the last to have power restored. Power was restored so that activities on Sunday afternoon could resume there.

The contestants were Pup Turbo, Ryan “Pup Zero” Evans, Florida Puppy 2016 – Alpha Cruz, Dave Rex Shephard, Lupe Alvarez, Pup Razors, Pup Scout, Xavier “Pup Snuggles” Thrace, Chip “Pup Rok” Ware, Alan Rodriguez and Jay “Pup Atlas” Rush.

The judging panel included International Puppy 2016 Pup Incus who was the head judge, International Leatherboy 2015 Tim Hotchkin, American Leatherboy 2013 Tank Teachworth, American Leatherboy 2015 Eli “Boypup Max” Marquez, International Trainer and Puppy 2015 Pup Kona, The Leather Journal publisher and editor Dave Rhodes and International Leather Sir 2015 Sir Tug. Mark Bozif was the tally master.

The contestants were interviewed at Attitudes on Saturday afternoon. The on stage categories included a speech, fantasy and formal personal image. In the latter category contestants answered light questions drawn up by the judges – pick and envelope please by emcee Karma T. Cassidy.

Pup Rex Sheppard is from Pflugerville, TX and is the founder and a member of the Austin Pets and Handlers. He is also a member of the Austin Gears, Discipline Corps, North Star Kennel Club and an associate member of the Chicago Hellfire Club. Pup Rex Shepard has been a puppy for 15 years and active in the puppy community for six years. Pup Rok hails from Houston, TX.

The Holiday Inn Express Central West End on Lindell was the host hotel and was near several great restaurants and attractions. The Holiday Inn has hosted several other LGBT community events and the staff was very accommodating.

Events on Thursday included puppy movie day featuring Secret Life of Pets, Blue Ocean sushi dinner, kickoff party and mosh pit opening. While there were guests from all over the United States and Canada, the largest groups seemed to be for Texas and Florida.

Friday had a class in the afternoon including Domestic Violence versus BDSM by pat Machate, Pup Awareness by Tank Teachworth, and Trainer and Puppy Couples by Pup Incus, a pub crawl, meet and greet and a titleholder’s cocktail party followed by a mosh pit. Saturday classes included Leather and Gear Care by Meghan and Seth, Headspace and Event Drop by Daddy C. John, and Community Perspective by Pup Tripp; a puppy obstacle course, judges’ dinner the contest and mosh pit. Sunday concluded with a victory cookout at Linder’s Pub.

It was noted from the stage that Square Peg Toys was the exclusive corporate sponsor of the winner’s travel fund and the amount donated was huge.

International Puppy executive producer Joe Mastrapasqua was impressed with the number of contests, the quality of contest, the growth over the first five years and with how well his team handled the venue situation at the last moment. His fellow owners are Flip Gray, Bruce Taylor, Tripp Hutchings and Papa Woof Roth. Many people noted how well the International Puppy Contest staff handled all of  the sudden changes.

Original Article is located at: https://www.theleatherjournal.com/news/international-news