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WKC! 50 Things To Know About Westminster


Showing, going, or watching on TV (schedules below), here's the skinny on New York City's celebrity event, one of America's oldest and most prestigious sporting events.


Held in the heart of NYC, the Westminster Dog Show is steeped in history, location (Madison Square Garden) and where celebrity watching takes second seat to dog watching for two fabulous nights of glamour and excitement. Whether attending, exhibiting, or watching from home, these 50 facts set the stage for one of the largest and most famous dog-events in the world!


1. Westminster Kennel Club dog show is the second longest continuously held sporting event in this country, led only by the Kentucky Derby.


2. Established in 1877, The Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs.


3. The Westminster Kennel Club was officially formed in 1877.


4. Westminster is older than the light bulb and the automobile, even older than the Brooklyn Bridge and the World Series.


5. Westminster Dog show has outlasted three previous versions of Madison Square Garden, and is currently being staged in Madison Square Garden No. 4!


6. Philanthropist J. P. Morgan showed Collies at Westminster in 1893.


7. The Best Junior Handler in last year’s Westminster show was Zachary Helmer, who showed a recently recognized breed, the Petits Bassets Griffon Vendeen, commonly referred to as the “PBGV” for obvious reasons.


8. The Westminster Kennel Club emblem is an English Champion Pointer purchased and imported by club members in 1876 and appropriately named “Sensation.”


9. The dog chosen as Best Dog In Show in 2007 was an English Springer Spaniel, Ch Felicity's Diamond Jim, affectionately known as "James."


10. Showing at Westminster Kennel Club isn’t cheap; the entry fee can be over $100 per dog.


11. Only AKC Champions of Record can compete at Westminster Dog Show.


12. The top five dogs in each breed receive special invitation to compete as Westminster Dog Show.


13. Showing a dog at Westminster takes planning and patience as all dogs must be entered weeks in advance of the show date.


14. Owners planning to exhibit at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show begin special nutrition, grooming, and training for their best dog a year in advance.


15. Judges, exhibitors and even spectators wear their best to the Westminster Dog Show where it’s all about seeing and being seen.


16. Most of the dogs at the Westminster Dog Show are handled by professional dog handlers but owners can show – and win at the prestigious event.


17. It’s not unusual for tickets to be “sold out” for the Westminster Dog Show event.


18. The location for the Westminster Dog Show is the famous Madison Square Garden complex.


19. The Westminster Dog Show is the first and only show limited to dogs that have already attained their AKC champion titles.


20. Some owners have hired uniformed guards to watch over their beloved dogs during long hours in the benching section.


21. Handlers have a special grooming and set-up section because they usually handle multiple dogs.


22. The Westminster Kennel Club Foundation awards six Veterinary School Scholarships each year.


23. The Westminster Kennel Club supports the AKC Museum of the Dog, Take The Lead, Animal Medical Center, and the ASPCA.


24. It is considered a great honor, somewhat of a lifetime achievement, to be invited to judge at Group at the Westminster show.


25. Non-Sporting Group includes some dogs that are retrievers, one of which, a Standard Poodle, won the group in 2007.


26. Most dogs in the Terrier Group are groomed for months in advance because their coats must be hand stripped to be ready for the show.


27. Winner of the Terrier Group last year was a dog from “down under” the imported Dandie Dinmont, Ch Hobergays Fineus Fogg, pictured here with one of his owners Jean Heath, Handler Bill McFadden, and National Pet Press publisher Barbara Andrews.


28. Over five thousand out of state visitors descend on New York City to be a part of the Westminster Dog Show event.


29. A Best In Show win at Westminster Kennel Club dog show is the highlight of a dog’s career.


30. Seven Group Winners compete against each other for the honor of Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show.


31. The Westminster Dog Show is covered by all major media and it can be a photo-op frenzy as shown in this photo from 2007.


32. Westminster Dog Show is a show of shows, as shown in the photo below of a handsome handler and dog.


The Westminster Dog Show is first and only limited to dogs that have already attained their AKC champion titles. Champions of Record can compete at Show.


33. Westminster Kennel Club was named after the hotel where foundations members met at the bar to “talk dogs.”


34. David Frei, the director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club is a very respected Afghan Hound fancier.


35. The USA network broadcast of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be viewed by over ten million people.


36. The Westminster Dog Show is expected to draw entries from over 162 AKC recognized breeds.


37. Estimates are that every Champion in competition defeated hundreds if not thousands of dogs prior to an appearance at the Westminster Dog Show.


38. The top ranked dog in the U.S. has about a fifty-fifty chance of winning Best In Show at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.


39. The quality of dogs in competition at Westminster is acknowledged to be among the best in the world.


40. Westminster Dog Show draws connoisseurs of food and fashion as well as canines.


41. Breeding decisions are based on genetics, quality of prospective parents – and the prospect of a puppy from that litter making it to Westminster Kennel Club.


42. As of 2006, only six dogs have ever won Westminster more than once and it is every owner’s dream to beat that record.


43. In 1992 the AKC limited entries by requiring that dogs must have already earned an AKC Champion title in order to compete at Westminster.


44. Only dogs that are AKC registered are eligible to compete at Westminster Dog Show, thus eliminating numerous other breeds registered by other canine registries.


45. By 2007, Terriers had won Best In Show at Westminster 44 out of the 100 times the prize has been awarded since 1907.


46. As of 2007, Sporting breeds had the second highest number of Best In Show wins at Westminster, totaling 18 out of 100 shows.


47. Dogs in the Working Group have won Westminster Best In Show 15 out of the 100 shows held through 2007.


48. The youngest dog to win Best In Show at Westminster was a 9 months old Rough Collie (left) named Ch. Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven, in 1929.


49. The oldest dog to win Best In Show at Westminster was a Papillon (right) called Kirby, registered name Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being, 8 years old in 1999.


50. Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of only a handful of "benched" conformation shows, meaning the dogs are on public display in their assigned spot on a raised platform or "bench." Spectators can see the dogs up close and meet their owners or handlers.

Copyright ? NetPlaces Network 20101512162186 - Photos Courtesy AKC Archives & Press Staff


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