Written By | Rob DeMartin
Saturday February 8th through Tuesday the 11th The Westminster Kennel Club celebrated it’s 144th Dog Show in New York City. The four-day event spanned several completions as well as two New York Venues. The annual dog show has been hosted by Madison Square Garden since the events inception and this year for the first time the obedience and agility championships as well as the best of breeds were additionally hosted by New York’s Pier 94.
The competition was host to 2,630 individual dogs representing 204 breeds from all over the globe. Most entrants were from the US but there were also contestants from as far as Thailand, Japan and Australia. California was the most represented state with 238 competing animals with the New York trailing with 208.
The agility competition, held Saturday, is essentially an obstacle course designed to display a dog’s willingness to work with their handler to navigate the obstacles both correctly and swiftly. The event begins with qualifying rounds and ends with the final runs of the course being scored on time and lack of faults during the run. In the end 4-year-old Pink, a Border Collie from Ohio, took home the Championship for handler Jennifer Crank.
Come Sunday the big event to win was the Obedience portion of the competition. The event is a testament to the training of these incredibly well-behaved dogs. The winner of the 5th Annual Master’s Obedience Championship was 7-year-old female Labrador Retriever “Heart” handled by Linda Brennan.
Once Agility and Obedience winners were crowned the main event was under way with the best of breed competitions paving the way for the ultimate moment: Best in Show. Each dog is judged based on the standards of their particular breed.
First the trophies were given for the seven groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-sporting and, Herding and this year one group saw a new breed entering the Kennel Club ranks – Azawakhs joined the Hounds for the first time ever.
The Golden Retriever took the win in sporting group, Whippet won the Hound, the Boxer lead the working group, the Wire Fox was the victorious terrier, Havanese won the Toy Group, the Standard Poodle won the Non- Sporting title and the Shetland Sheepdog took the win in the Herding Group.
By the time the final group did their last rounds for the ultimate Best in Show title the crowd favorites were clear, The Golden Retriever and the Havanese however, when it was time for the judges to make the decision the Standard Poodle, 4 year old Siba, was their clear winner.
Photo Credit | Rob DeMartin