Back in September American Kennel Club Chairman Ron Menaker wrote a piece entitled "The Show Must Go On" but his numbers were less than optimistic:
The sport of Conformation is the flagship AKC event, and is the sport that is at the very foundation of our Registry....
[T]he trends over the past ten years show us that Conformation is in a tenuous position. “The graying of the Sport” has become something of a buzzword in recent years, but we know that the issue is far more complex than the simple fact of an aging population.
... The numbers show a pretty clear picture.
All-breed and conformation entries have been falling over the past ten years.
Fewer conformation championships have been earned.
Every year, fewer dogs are exhibited in conformation.