We are fond of saying, “Don’t bet the lunch money” on an AKC dog show. That goes doubly for the Westminster Kennel Club show where getting out of the breed is a major accomplishment for the most seasoned dog. However, that does not deter we dog pundits from picking our favorites at the World’s most prestigious dog show. Here is our Whom to Watch at Westminster (WWW), starting with the Sporting Group.
We expect the Sporting Group to be the most hotly contested of the Groups. Not only do we have the top two Sporting Dogs from 2009, we have two dogs that have been burning up the show ring in the last two months. We start with 2009’s number one Sporting Dog, the Golden Retriever, CH Toasty’s Treasure Island. Treasure finished 2009 as the number four dog all breeds with 23 BIS & 89 Group Firsts. Clint Livingston handles for breeders Jerome and Pamela Oxenberg & co-owner Jane Bates.
The German Wirehaired Pointer, CH Ripsnorter’s Mt View Lookout, was 2009’s number two Sporting Dog and number nine dog all breeds. Scout accumulated 15 all breed Bests and 76 Sporting Group top awards last year. He was bred by Helen Witt, Claire Wisch, & Kelly Wish, is owned by Kiki Courtelis, Joyce Wilkinson, & Helen & Jim Witt, and handled by Frank Murphy.
The current number one dog all breeds is the Irish Setter, CH Shadagee Caught Red Handed. Although she got a late start in 2009, Emily managed to win four all breed BIS and 31 Sporting Groups. Memorable wins included the 2009 National Specialty of the Irish Setter Club of America over more than 500 entries and a Group One at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Emily was bred by Ellen Bieler, Debra & Tim Burke, is owned by Debbie Burke & Nancy Lee Conner, and handled by Adam Bernardin.
The Black Cocker Spaniel, CH Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction, was only shown briefly last year, but has catapulted into the number three spot in the 2010 all breed rankings, gathering six all breed Bests along the way. Bred & owned by Linda Moore, Beckham is handled by Linda Pitt.
(Photo Courtesy of the American Kennel Club)
We have to have a dark horse and it is the tall, dark, & handsome Gordon Setter, CH Firethorn & Sandpiper Easy On The Eyes. Last year’s Westminster BIS judge, Sari Brewster Tietjen, gave Carson his first BIS of 2010 last month. We take that as a good omen. Carson was bred by Janice Beattie, Christina Kirby, Mary McLoughlin & Caren Mcweeny, is owned by Christina, Mary, & Don & Pat Coller, and is handled by Eileen Hackett.