Forest Hill, there is a show section on the forum and many of the show people mostly check that forum. You might get more comments there.
I have shown AKC with another breed, but never with a poodle. I am thinking about showing my boy AKC, but out here it is about 90% handlers in the poodles. I think where you are there are more owner handlers, which is great. I know there are people here who show both UKC and AKC, using UKC for more practice plus UKC is inexpensive and there aren't any handlers allowed. Where I live it seems all the poodles are sprayed in AKC, but with a puppy that won't be important.
Wish I could say my boy has plenty of coat! LOL. He is 7 months old and could use a WHOLE lot more. We tried a UKC show to see how he'd do and unfortunately, he was not thrilled about having strangers go over him, so we are trying a conformation class starting this week. I'll make a decision about AKC in a month or two. A lot of successful showing is in the attitude of the dog as much as in their looks. If she has the attitude, she can win. My little apricot won in UKC easily because of the 'it' factor more than that she has perfect conformation. Don't underestimate the 'it' factor! Jazz, my other poodle, is gorgeous with great conformation and nice movement. He may not have that attitude factor. We'll see if conformation class helps bring it out.
Welcome to the forum!