WKC Dog Show: 1875 TO 1975
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1875 or earlier A group of sporting gentlemen meet regularly in the bar of a Manhattan hotel to trade stories about their shooting accomplishments and the talents of their dogs. Eventually they form a club and name it after their favorite hotel, i.e. The Westminster Breeding Association. The club owns a kennel and raises Pointers for hunting and field trials.
1876 The Westminster Breeding Association helps stage a dog show in Philadelphia in celebration of America's Centennial. The show is such a success that the members decide to hold their own dog show to allow them to compare their dogs in a setting away from the field. The members change the name of their organization to the Westminster Kennel Club.
1877 The First Annual New York Bench Show of Dogs, given under the auspices of the Westminster Kennel Club, is held in the Hippodrome at Gilmore's Garden in New York City, drawing an entry of 1,201 dogs.
The club pays rent of $1,500 for three days, adding a fourth day during the show to accommodate the overwhelming public interest. The proceeds from that fourth day are donated to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dogs are listed in the catalog as "not for sale" or "for sale" at prices which range from $50 to $10,000.
1878 The entry fee is $2 which includes feed and care of the dog. Spectator interest grows.
1879 This year's Premium List contains show rules and regulations, adopted together by Westminster and the Philadelphia Kennel Club. A Board of Appeals at the show is made up of three members of each club. It was an early step in the search for a set of rules under which all major shows might be held. There would be no national governing body until the founding of AKC in 1884.
1884 The Westminster Kennel Club is elected by the American Kennel Club as the AKC's first member club. The American Fox Terrier Club becomes the next member in 1886. Westminster is the only All Breed member club until the Rhode Island Kennel Club joins in 1897.
1888 In accordance with new rules adopted by the American Kennel Club, every dog entered at Westminster must be registered with the American Kennel Club. And in those cases where a potential entrant was not registered with the AKC, the Westminster Show Secretary accepted a registration application and fee (50 cents) and forwarded it to the AKC.
1888 With her assignment of 117 St. Bernards at Westminster, Anna Whitney becomes the first woman to judge a dog show in America. She judges every year for the next seven years, but it would be 1901 before another woman judges any dog show in the U.S.
1889 "The Czar of Russia" is listed as the breeder of a Siberian Wolfhound entered at this year's show.
1890 W.M. Bangs, M.D., writing in Cosmopolitan magazine: "These shows have been very popular and they have had great effect in forming and developing the taste of lovers of the dog (Westminster Kennel Club) has had great effect in improving the quality of the dogs owned for use and companionship. Of this there can be no doubt ..." One of the entries at the 1890 show is a Russian Wolfhound with a listed owner of "The Emperor of Germany."
1892 The entry fee for Westminster is raised from $3 to $5, where it will remain until 1947.
1893 Philanthropist J. P. Morgan makes the first of many appearances at Westminster with his Collies.
1894 Famous American journalist Nellie Bly enters her Maltese at Westminster, some four years after she made a record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes, breaking the record of Phineas Fogg in Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.
1904 For the first time, handlers wear arm bands with the catalog number of their dog.
1905 With 1,752 dogs on hand, Westminster becomes the world's largest dog show ever held, surpassing the previous dog show held at the Crystal Palace in London.
1907 The award of Best In Show is given for the first time at Westminster. A panel of 10 judges makes the decision, although their names are unknown. In fact, the names making up the panel of Best In Show judges were not recorded until 1912. BIS WINNER Ch Warren Remedy Smooth Fox Terrier.
1908 The number of dogs entered reaches 2,000 for the first time. BIS WINNER Ch Warren Remedy - Smooth Fox Terrier
1909 BIS WINNER Ch Warren Remedy, Smooth Fox Terrier, for the third consecutive year, a feat never since duplicated at Westminster.
1910 A class is offered for the first time for Fire Department Dalmatians, won by Mike of Engine Company 8 of 51st Street. BIS WINNER Ch Sabine Rarebit, Smooth Fox Terrier.
1911 BIS WINNER Ch Tickle Em Jock, Scottish Terrier.
1912 BIS WINNER Ch Kenmare Sorceress, Airedale Terrier, Judges: Dr Henry Jarrett, Ralph C English, Charles Lyndon
1913 BIS WINNER Ch Strathtay Prince Albert, Bulldog, Judges: Dr Henry Jarrett, G Muss Arnolt, Theodore Offerman, Referee
1914 BIS WINNER Ch Slumber, Old English Sheepdog, Judge: Midgeley Marsden
1915 BIS WINNER Ch Matford Vic, Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: Dr Henry Jarrett
1916 One of the entries in the Miscellaneous Class this year is listed as a "Truffles Hunter." Later, nearly 30 dogs of different breeds compete in the Best In Show ring. A panel of five judges select BIS WINNER Ch Matford Vic, Wire Fox Terrier, for her second consecutive win, Judges: Charles G Hopton, Frank F Dole, Vinton P Breese, Fred Senn, W H Whittem.
1917 A special hero of World War I, a German Shepherd named Filax of Lewanno who had brought 54 wounded soldiers to safety, was exhibited at Westminster. BIS WINNER Ch Conejo Wycollar Boy, Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: George S Thomas
1918 The profits of this show were donated to the American Red Cross in support of the war effort. BIS WINNER Ch Haymarket Faultless, White Bull Terrier, Judges: Vinton P Breese, Charles G Hopton, George S Thomas, Referee
Amongst the famous donors of special trophies this year: Mrs. Payne (Helen Hay) Whitney, who was the first president of the Cairn Terrier Club of America. Her father, John Hay, was personal secretary to President Lincoln, Ambassador to the UK, and Secretary of State). Also making donations: Mrs. John Philip Sousa, wife of the band leader and composer Mrs. Rodman Wanamaker, wife of the department store owner and patron of the arts from Philadelphia and Mrs. F.W. Vanderbilt.
1919 Once again, profits were donated to the American Red Cross. While the war was over, Westminster offered special "Service Classes" for those who were serving or had served in the Armed Forces. BIS WINNER Ch Briergate Bright Beauty, Airedale Terrier, Judges: Harry T Peters, Theodore Offerman, J Willoughby Mitchell
1920 BIS WINNER Ch Conejo Wycollar Boy, Wire Fox Terrier, Judges: Thomas S Bellin, William E Warner, Norman K Swire
1921 BIS WINNER Ch Midkiff Seductive, Parti Color Cocker Spaniel, Judges: Norman K Swire, Charles G Hopton, Dr J D De Mund, Referee
1922 BIS WINNER Ch Boxwood Barkentine, Airedale Terrier, Judges: G Muss Arnolt, Vinton P Breese, Theodore Offerman
1923 No BEST IN SHOW prize is awarded because the American Kennel Club barred interbreed competition for 1923 except in the Miscellaneous Class. Comprehensive new rules for Group & Best in Show judging were adopted and became effective for 1924.
1924 In the first Westminster held under the new rules for Groups and Best In Show judging, five Group winners (Sporting, Working, Terrier, Toy and Non Sporting) competed for the final award of Best In Show. BIS WINNER Ch Barberryhill Bootlegger, Sealyham Terrier, Judges: Norman K Swire, Walter H Reeves
Westminster becomes the first club to conduct Best In Show judging in accordance with the new rules and format installed by the AKC.
1925 BIS WINNER Ch Governor Moscow, Pointer, Judges: Walter S Glynn, Theodore Offerman, Robert A Ross, Ralph C English
1926 Madison Square Garden III opens on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Westminster moves its show there, where it will remain until the facility closes in 1968. BIS WINNER Ch Signal Circuit of Halleston, Wire Fox Terrier, Judges: J Robinson Beard, C Frederick Neilson, W L McCandlish, Walter H Reeves, Tyler Morse
1927 BIS WINNER Ch Pinegrade Perfection, Sealyham Terrier, Judges: C Fred Neilson, Enno Meyer, John G Bates, G V Glebe, Dr Carleton Y Ford
1928 Mrs. Reginald F. Mayhew of Forest Hills, NY, becomes the first woman to have a voice in deciding Best In Show, as one of a panel of five judges making the decision. BIS WINNER Ch Talavera Margaret, Wire Fox Terrier, Judges: Mrs R F Mayhew, Alfred Delmont, Otto H Gross, C Frederick Neilson, J Bailey Wilson
1929 BIS WINNER Ch Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven, Rough Collie, Judge: Dr Carleton Y Ford
1930 BIS WINNER Ch Pendley Calling of Blarney, Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: W L McCandlish
1931 BIS WINNER Ch Pendley Calling of Blarney, Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: Tyler Morse
1932 BIS WINNER Ch Nancolleth Markable, Pointer, Judge: Hon Townsend Scudder
1933 Mrs. M. Hartley Dodge judges Best In Show, becoming the first woman to officiate as the sole judge of this award. Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge is soon legendary in the dog show world, as the force behind the Morris & Essex Kennel Club and the benefactor of St. Hubert Giralda Animal Shelter in New Jersey. BIS WINNER Ch Warland Protector of Shelterock, Airedale Terrier, Judge: Mrs Hartley Dodge
A German Shepherd belonging to New York Yankee great, Lou Gehrig, is among this year's entries. "Afra of Cosalta" takes second in the Open Bitch class Gehrig goes on to some success on the baseball field instead, finishing with a .340 lifetime batting average as one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.
1934 The Children's Handling Grand Challenge Trophy is offered for the first time at Westminster. Later to be known as Junior Handling, this competition continues to be part of Westminster every year. BIS WINNER Ch Flornell Spicy Bit of Halleston Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: Dr Henry Jarrett
1935 Handler Mrs. Sherman Hoyt goes BIS, the first such win ever for a woman handler, a feat that would not be repeated until 1956. Best In Show winner: Ch Nunsoe Duc de la Terrace of Blakeen, Standard Poodle, Judge: Alfred B Maclay
1936 BIS WINNER Ch St Margaret Mignificent of Claredale, Sealyham Terrier, Judge: C Frederick Neilson
1937 3,140 dogs are entered at Westminster. BIS WINNER Ch Flornell Spicy Piece of Halleston, Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: George S West
1938 Best In Show Judge is pictured on the cover of Time Magazine before Westminster, with the caption, "His choice becomes the people's choice." BIS WINNER Daro of Maridor, English Setter, Judge: John G Bates
1939 BIS WINNER Ferry v Rauhfelsen of Giralda, Doberman Pinscher, Judge: George S Thomas
1940 BIS WINNER Ch My Own Brucie, Black Cocker Spaniel, Judge: Dr Samuel Milbank
1941 The show is changed from three days to a two day event. BIS WINNER Ch My Own Brucie, Black Cocker Spaniel, Judge: Joseph Patterson Sims
1942 In 1941 and 1942, proceeds from these shows are donated to the American Red Cross. In 1943 and 1944, proceeds go to the benefit of Dogs for Defense. In 1945, the National War Fund is the recipient of the proceeds.
BIS WINNER Ch Wolvey Pattern of Edgerstoune, West Highland White Terrier, Judge: Herman E Mellenthin
1943 BIS WINNER Ch Pitter Patter of Piperscroft, Miniature Poodle, Judge: Gerald M Livingston
1944 BIS WINNER Ch Flornell Rare Bit of Twin Ponds, Welsh Terrier, Judge: Theodore Crane
1945 BIS WINNER Ch Shieling's Signature, Scottish Terrier, Judge: George S West
1946 A tugboat strike causes New York Mayor William O'Dwyer to close the city down on the eve of the dog show. Business was allowed to resume 24 hours later, by that time forcing Westminster to make arrangements to hold its show in one day instead of two. Using 17 rings and a makeshift schedule that kept all rings in constant use, Best In Show was awarded by 12:15 a.m. that night, 15 minutes earlier than the year before. BIS WINNER Ch Heatherington Model Rhythm, Wire Fox Terrier, Judge: William Prescott Wolcott
1947 BIS WINNER Ch Warlord of Mazelaine, Boxer, Judge: David Wagstaff
1948 Television coverage of Westminster takes place for the first time. BIS WINNER Ch Rock Ridge Night Rocket, Bedlington Terrier, Judge: Dr Samuel Milbank
1949 BIS WINNER Ch Mazelaine Zazarac Brandy, Boxer Judge: Thomas H Carruthers, III
1950 BIS WINNER Ch Walsing Winning Trick of Edgerstoune, Scottish Terrier Judge: George H Hartman
1951 First dog from West of the Mississippi to win Best In Show at Westminster. BIS WINNER Ch Bang Away of Sirrah Crest, Boxer Judge: W Ross Proctor
1952 BIS WINNER Ch Rancho Dobe's Storm, Doberman Pinscher Judge: Joseph Patterson Sims
1953 BIS WINNER Ch Rancho Dobe's Storm, Doberman Pinscher Judge: James A Farrell Jr
1954 BIS WINNER Ch Carmor's Rise and Shine A.S.C.O.B. Cocker Spaniel Judge: Virgil D Johnson
1955 BIS WINNER Ch Kippax Fearnought, Bulldog Judge: Albert E Van Court
1956 Anne Hone Rogers (later to become Mrs. James Edward Clark) becomes the first woman professional handler and the second female to handle a dog to the Best In Show award. BIS WINNER Ch Wilber White Swan, Toy Poodle Judge: Paul Palmer
1957 BIS WINNER Ch Shirkhan of Grandeur, Afghan Hound Judge: Mrs Beatrice H Godsol
1958 BIS WINNER Ch Puttencove Promise, Standard Poodle Judge: William W Brainard
1959 BIS WINNER Ch Fontclair Festoon, Miniature Poodle Judge: Thomas H Carruthers, III
1960 BIS WINNER Ch Chik T'Sun of Caversham, Pekingese Judge: George H Hartman
1961 BIS WINNER Ch Cappoquin Little Sister, Toy Poodle Judge: Dr Joseph E Redden
1962 BIS WINNER Ch Elfinbrook Simon, West Highland White Terrier Judge: Haywood R Hartley
1963 BIS WINNER Ch Wakefield's Black Knight, English Springer Spaniel Judge: Virgil D Johnson
1964 BIS WINNER Ch Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth, Whippet Judge: Len Carey
1965 BIS WINNER Ch Carmichaels Fanfare, Scottish Terrier Judge: Robert A Kerns
1966 BIS WINNER Ch Zeloy Mooremaide's Magic, Wire Fox Terrier Judge: James A Farrell Jr
1967 BIS WINNER Ch Bardene Bingo, Scottish Terrier Judge: Percy Roberts
1968 The first dog to win Best In Show at Westminster after winning the same award at Crufts, (Westminster's London counterpart) BIS WINNER Ch Stingray of Derryabah, Lakeland Terrier Judge: Major B Godsol
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the final event of any kind held at Madison Square Garden III. In 1969, the show moves to Madison Square Garden IV, its present location.
1969 A bitter snowstorm cripples the New York area and plays havoc with Westminster's first show at the new Madison Square Garden. BIS WINNER Ch Glamoor Good News, Skye Terrier Judge: Louis J Murr
1970 BIS WINNER Ch Arriba's Prima Donna, Boxer Judge: Miss Anna K Nicholas (Jane Forsythe handling)
1971 BIS WINNER Ch Chinoe's Adamant James, English Springer Spaniel Judge: Oliver Carley Harriman
1972 A English Springer Spaniel captures his second consecutive Best In Show at Westminster, becoming the seventh dog with multiple BIS wins (six dogs with two, one dog with three). As of 2003, no dog has done it since. BIS WINNER Ch Chinoe's Adamant James, English Springer Spaniel Judge: William W Brainard Jr
1973 BIS WINNER Ch Acadia Command Performance Standard Poodle Judge: Mrs Augustus Riggs
1974 BIS WINNER Ch Gretchenhof Columbia River, German Shorthaired Pointer Judge: Len Carey
1975 The first Canadian dog wins BIS honors since 1918. BIS WINNER Ch. Sir Lancelot of Barvan, Old English Sheepdog Judge: Harry T Peters Jr
Photos Courtesy AKC Archives, professional show photographers, and TheDogPress staff
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