What To Watch for at Westminster.
Many of our readers are intimately acquainted with the Westminster Dog Show and have been attending and exhibiting for decades, many are familiar with the show and are aware of the status it holds as America’s most prestigious show, and some of you may have a vague idea that it an important event because it’s been on TV for several years. So if some of what we are going to add to these pages over the next week you already know, bear with us. If some of this needs more illumination, ask us, we love talking about this subject. I any event, we hope you find it entertaining.
This will be the 133rd presentation of the Westminster Dog Show. It is the second oldest continuously held sporting event in the US. Only the Kentucky Derby is older. This year, there are 2522 dogs entered, all of them champions, from 49 states, including 265 from California and 235 from New York. There’s a good bet that this year’s winner will make history. Of the breeds represented by our top ten dogs from 2008, six have never won a Westminster BIS. Neither the Giant Schnauzer, the Affenpinscher, the Brussels Griffon, the Harrier, the Scottish Deerhound, nor the Pembroke Welsh Corgi have ever taken the top prize.
Breed popularity is not an advantage in the final seven at the Garden. The number one breed in AKC is the number one entry at Westminster, with 47 Labrador Retrievers entered, but surprisingly, no Lab has ever won BIS, (Sorry Marley) nor has a Golden Retriever, Dachshund, or Shih Tzu. There has only been one Yorkshire Terrier, one German Shepherd Dog, and one Beagle taking the heavysilver. The Bulldog has won twice and the Boxer four times, but the Poodles have won nine times, two Toys, three Miniatures, and four Standards. By contrast the Sealyham Terrier, which is the seventh least popular breed, with only 56 registered last year, has won four times. And we do have a Sealyham in contention this year as well.
Next, our group by group picks.