What to Watch for at Westminster, the Working Group
The Working Group is dominated by the 2008 highest scoring dog in conformation, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. Spirit didn’t just beat the competition, she obliterated it, defeating 45,755 more dogs in 2008 than any other dog that will be at Westminster. Spirit won 71 BIS 2008 and has already added seven more including the two Palm Springs shows, the largest shows in the US. Spirit, bred by Maryann Bisceglia & Mary Hayes, is owned by Mary Hayes & Joe & Carla Sanchez, and handled by Taffee McFadden.
But this is Westminster and the normal rules do not apply. Many a favorite has come to the Garden and left with a consolation prize. Every Westminster veteran will tell you that the Breed and Group rings are nerve racking. Among the dogs gunning for the front runner is the 2008 number two Working Dog, the Doberman Pinscher, CH Cambria’s Victoria’s Secret. “Reginy” picked up 13 BIS last year, good enough to put her in the top twenty all breed rankings. Reigny grabbed a Group 2 last year, but will have to fight her way out of the breed.
The new girl in town is the Doberman Pinscher, CH Allure Blazing Star Alisaton, a three year old bitch who has caught fire in the last month, winning three BIS in January, beating Reigny twice in the breed. CJ was bred by Carmen Pitts & Gwen DeMilta, is owned by Pitts, Nancy Bosley & Julie Porter, and handled by DeMilta’s daughter, Carissa DeMilta Shimpeno.
A breeder/owner handled dog, the Samoyed, CH White Eagle's Celestial Sky, finished 2008 as the fourth highest scoring in her breed, but she won one more Working Group than the top Samoyed and won the same number of BIS (3). However, in just three weekends last month, “Celeste” won two BIS, four Group Twos, and one Group 4. Celeste, bred and owned by Rev Terry Litton & Mary & Jim Augustus, is handled by Mary.
Our dark horse in this group is the first Tibetan Mastiff to win a BIS, CH Drakyi Gold Standard. “Midas”, was bred by Rick Eichhorn, who co-owns the four year old dog with handlers Michael & Linda Brantley. Midas, the number one Tibetan Mastiff of all time and the 2008 Best TM, is rolling into Westminster with three Group 1s in a row, including the one on the way to that historic Best In Show.
Next, the Terriers.