Monday, February 13, 2012


A major surprise to all dog lovers.  The Westminster Kennel club has announced major changes in format & venue.  Below is their press release

On the eve of its annual show, The Westminster Kennel Club announced today a number of changes for its 2013 show, including an additional venue for breed judging, a larger entry limit, and the expansion of dogs eligible for competition.

Breed judging and benching will take place at Piers 92/94 in New York City, located at West 55th Street and the West Side Highway, both days of the show, Monday and Tuesday. Group and Best In Show judging, as well as the Junior Showmanship Finals, will still 
be held at Madison Square Garden in the evening.

The entry limit will be increased to 3,200 dogs (up from 2,000 in 2012) and will include competition in the classes for dogs that have not yet earned their championships, but have won major points. In addition, Best of Breed winners of National Breed Club specialties will be invited to pre-enter. The top five dogs in each breed in breed point standings will continue to be invited to pre-enter, as in the past.

The 2013 Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show will be held on February 11-12.
The Westminster Kennel Club has been held at Madison Square Garden in all but a few years of its existence. The first Westminster shows were held at Gilmore's Gardens in 1878-79 & which was the forerunner of Madison Square Garden. Westminster has since become one of only three entities to hold its event in all four iterations of Madison Square Garden in New York (along with the circus and the National Horse Show, neither of which is currently being held at the Garden today).

"We take great pride in our relationship with the world's greatest sporting arena," said Westminster President Peter R. Van Brunt in announcing the changes. "We are happy that these changes will help us continue to produce the greatest dog show in the world for the dogs, the people in our sport, the spectators who come to the show, and the millions more who watch us on television.

In the past two years, a renovation project at the Garden has reduced the available space for benching at Westminster. Moving to the Piers for daytime judging will expand the space available once again for benching, allow more entries, and continue to provide the spectators with the opportunity to see the dogs up close and visit with the owners and handlers.


  1. I'm very confused by the part about class dogs. Don't think I really like that, its part of the prestige of WKC that its champions only...
    Not sure I like the changes that will be implemented. I understand holding the daytime judging elsewhere. It can be really crowded in the Garden. Though, i hope this doesnt create a difficulty for Breed Winners making it to groups.

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  3. Just curious, since the cabs have not really been agreeable to carrying dogs and equipment, how are the exhibitors supposed to get there expecially with the numbers that fly in. Just looking for the information on transportation since it's a major change in tradition.

  4. Hello Plan? It's me, 14 inches of snow. I would like to have a talk with you. Call me back.

  5. So, Westminster is essentially becoming just another dog show - and an incredibly inconvenient and expensive one, at that. I had intended to enter dogs next year, but in light of the new changes, I think I'll opt to stay home.

  6. In NYC I heard some discussion re transport being laid on between venues for breed winners going to groups. Guess if folk at the Euk show can move between venues, the people who make the decisions think the NYC folk can handle it but there are so many more variables to consider, i.e. weather, traffic. If my dog won breed I'd walk to the Garden, but then all I need is my Deerhound and comb, what about all the grooming equipment etc that some breeds require?

  7. Linda M again.
    The other item of concern being discussed big time was, what if one takes multiple dogs, ie class dogs and a spec, and one wins breed and has to go to group. Will there be time enough to get the other dogs not being shown again back 'home', exercised, fed, etc before Groups start elsewhere? One lady I talked with always takes multiple dogs to the Garden anyway, she uses a couple of handlers in addition to showing herself, says she won't enter more than one next year because what will she do with the other dogs if one of her Spec wins breed? She's not going to leave them at the Piers until she gets back, and she's not taking extra people with her to watch them while she's at the Garden.
    Right now in benching people watch out for each other, but at the Pier will that still happen? Lots of wrinkles to be ironed out.

  8. Well they used to have class dogs back in the 70's. Kinda like coming full circle. Very valid concerns from Linda M, I share those also. However Linda I'd like to think that even at the Piers as exhibitors we would still continue to watch out for each other. I'll be interested to see if the WKC gets shuttle buses for the breed winners. It's 2.5 miles from the Piers to the Garden. No mean feat in NYC traffic.

  9. I have always dreamed of having a dog that was good enough to go to Westminster. Now I do...and they change it from just Champs to Dogs with one major. Not so special anymore...this would have been my first trip out....

  10. This is how it use to be done!

  11. Disappointed to see that they are not giving Awards of Merit this year.

    Grand Championship Points (GCH): With the addition of class entries, wins at Westminster awarded by the breed judge (Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, Select Dog and Select Bitch) will win points towards the AKC's Grand Championship title. For details, see This award will take the place of Awards of Merit previously offered by the club.

    Many breeds have large entries and it was nice to have multiple AOM's awarded based on the # of entries. Not sure I want to go this year with all the changes.