GCH CH Rainbow Splash’s Ruggedly Handsome
The NBA All Star game has usurped Westminster Kennel Club’s long standing reservation at Madison Square Garden, pushing the WKC’s 139th annual show to a week later this year than normal, despite the fact that the NBA is half the age of the WKC. Nonetheless this year’ show promises to be one of the most exciting and competitive yet. As we look at the contenders this year we find a good mix of the top ranked dogs from 2014 and up and coming dogswho bring a lot of early year momentum to the Big Apple.
GCH CH Vjk-Myst Garbonita's California Journey
We start our Whom to Watch at Westminster with a Sporting Group that has one of the great comeback stories of recent history. The German Shorthaired Pointer, GCH CH Vjk-Myst Garbonita's California Journey, started 2015 with a breakout performance on the polo field at the Kennel Club of Palm Springs, going Best In Show at one will be one of the largest shows of this year. Unfortunately, CJ had some emergency surgery two weeks later, threatening what was sure to be a stellar career. Happily CJ has made a full, remarkably speedy recovery, and returned to the show ring this past week picking up two big Group Ones. CJ heads to New York with one BIS and seven Sporting groups. CJ was bred by owner/handler Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, and co-owner Alice Manning. Owner Y Hassler Deter rounds out Team CJ.
Last year’s Number One Sporting Dog and Number Three Dog All Breeds, the Brittany, GCH CH Rainbow Splash’s Ruggedly Handsome, leads the group again this year. Beckett has been tearing through competition, collecting six BIS and 12 Sporting Groups so far this year. Beckett was bred by Kathy D Hogan & Elud Archuleta Cressler. Kathy co-owns Beckett with Jim & Alisa Andras, Carolee Douglas, & Amanda Cone. Beckett is always guided by handler Clint Livingston.
GCH CH Telltale American Ride
( photo by Lynda Beam)
The competition in the English Springer Spaniel ring will be among the toughest at this year’s show. We do expect the Springer, GCH CH Telltale American Ride, to prevail. Randy finished 2014 with 96 Sporting Groups, just one behind the group leading Beckett. Randy takes two BIS and nine Sporting Groups into the Westminster festivities. Randy was bred by owner/handler Robin Novack & owners Celie Florence, Delores Streng, & Beth Fink, and is co-owned by C & D VanVorst.
GCH CH Ashdown’s time to Thrill
Among the dogs that Sporting Group judge Ken Murray gave a Group One last year is the Black Cocker Spaniel, GCH CH Ashdown’s time to Thrill. Alan was 2014’s Number Five Sporting Dog with seven BIS and 63 Group Ones. Alan was bred by owners Genea White Jones & Bruce Van Deman, is co-owned by Carolee Douglas, and handled by Linda Pitts.
Next, the Hounds.