The Epic Tale

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The journey for EPIC began well over a decade ago when Heather Vitcusky and John King purchased their first Cane Corso, John having done extensive research found the breed and sparked both their interest and need to learn more with the hopes of acquiring one in the near future. They had no idea the amazing journey that would become EPIC Cane Corso and end up becoming their passion. Although their first Cane Corso was simply a companion, their second corso “GCH Gator Country Athena” was something entirely different and would take them on a much different path then they had ever imagined. Heather, as an owner/handler, took Athena to 2004 ICCF Puppy of the Year followed by 2005 ICCF Bitch of the Year, both learning together as they went.

Heather has an extensive background in horses and spent her entire young life training and competing multiple horses in eventing and dressage. She was fortunate enough to be given a remarkable opportunity to be a working student/apprentice as the groom/assistant to Susanne Hassler (renowned dressage trainer currently at Riveredge Farm) for 6months just out of high school. This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and quite an education as well. Heather’s passion for competitive riding and training horses lasted well into her late 20’s and made her transition into showing dogs seamless.

Over the past 14+ years Heather has taken several classes, attended multiple diverse seminars and clinics and been instructed by many professional handlers, breeders, veterinarians, specialists and dog enthusiasts as she and her dogs continue to compete consistently in the conformation ring. She served 8 cumulative years as an active board member and committee volunteer of the CCAA (Cane Corso Association of America). She was given the honor, when corsos were competing in rare breed shows (up until AKC full acceptance in July 2010); to champion and grand champion several dogs from noteworthy kennels. As basically an amateur handler, showing dogs for accomplished kennels, she handled the Best of Breed winner in the 2004 Cane Corso National Specialty, 2005 National Specialty Best of Opposite Sex winner and 2008 National Specialty Best of Opposite Sex winner.  Heather feels one of her greatest accomplishments has been producing her own champions and grand champions and finishing some of them in the bred by exhibitor class. She apprenticed for many years under accomplished US breeders before ever breeding a litter. However, over the past decade out of a limited number of breedings each year, Epic has bred 15 AKC Champions and 5 AKC Grand Champions since the breeds’ full acceptance into the AKC Working Group in July of 2010.

Epic went on to become the 2012 Cane Corso Association of America’s Working Breeder of the Year and as the breeder won the coveted 2015 Cane Corso Association of America’s Breeder’s Cup Invitational with Silver GCH Epic Diesel of CastleGuard, both amazing accomplishments for such a small breeding program. The hard work and dedication of their clients afforded them the opportunity to win these prestigious awards, none of which would have been possible without their hard work and dedication. Although John King is no longer an owner or involved in the breeding program, his profound support of Heather and contribution to the breeding program for over a decade does not go unrecognized or unappreciated. It truly does take a village!

In early 2014, Heather relocated from Delaware to Massachusetts. Since that time, Jeff Durr and his family have become an integral part of her breeding program. She co-owns some of the show/ breeding dogs with Jeff and his children Troy, Chelsea and Madison. They are active in the care, training and socialization of the dogs and have been by her side whelping and raising litters with her ever since. Therefore, she considers the Durr family to be a big part of Epic as the program continues to evolve.

Heather is a strong believer in putting only her best examples in the conformation show ring. She strives to produce consistent, balanced, sound examples with exceptional breed type, structure and TEMPERAMENTS. No breeder is perfect, but she stands behind everything she produces and works to stay in regular contact with all of her puppy families. She is honest and forthright and has learned a lot from her vast experiences. Epic WILL NOT sell any of their puppies outright for breeding, meaning all puppies with breeding rights are sold with co-ownership contracts. All other puppies are sold as a COMPANION with a spay/neuter contract. EPIC is also an AKC BRED with H.E.A.R.T Participant and recognized as an AKC BREEDER OF MERIT. Heather is employed full time as the administrative assistant to the chief of plastic surgery at Rhode Island Hospital, so breeding and showing dogs is simply her pastime.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of EPIC CANE CORSO!

We truly believe in our motto at Epic Cane Corso and the goal is to always be….

The difference between acceptable and exceptional.