All About The Show Dog
The pinnacle of a dog's career is a big win at Westminster Dog Show. Fortunes are spent getting a dog to the WKC dog show.
WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW
TheDogPlace Staff - February 2013
WKC, aka The Garden, has changed. Benching, seating, The Piers, breed judging & TV schedules, Live Video, and navigating NY’s biggest dog show!
Benching At Madison Square Garden is no more. Instead of the intensely crowded (and unsafe) conditions of old, spectators and puppy prospectors will have to get to Piers 92/94 at West 55th Street and the West Side Highway (see www.piers9294.com) in order to see the dogs up close and visit with exhibitors.
WKC Breed Judging, Monday and Tuesday February 11-12 will be at The Piers where specialty clubs have held their events for many years. The advantage, which may be temporary if WKC continues to increase entry limits, is more elbow room. Disadvantage is of course, getting big dogs, assistants, and equipment back and forth to Madison Ave.
Group and Best In Show Judging, as well as the Junior Showmanship Finals, will still be held at Madison Square Garden in the evening. That is very convenient for New Yorkers with Box Seating or those lucky people who got their tickets through the Senior Conformation Judges Association.
Families Who Attend Westminster hoping to decide on a purebred dog and wind up in the stratosphere seats, not so good. As always, spectators will be ordered off the main floor so getting a close look at any winning dogs at this dog show, well, it will have to be on the overhead screens. The only other option is to take off work, keep the kids out of school and go to the Piers during the day.
Westminster TV Schedules might be the best choice for spectators who can’t make it to the Piers to see their favorite breeds and talk to breeders. Gather friends, family, and snacks and settle in by 8pm on Monday and 7:30pm on Tuesday. Tune in to live broadcast on CNBC (Monday) and USA Network (Tuesday).
Westminster President Peter R. Van Brunt proudly says "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 or via the Internet."
Live Breed Judging Videos can be accessed at www.westminsterkennelclub.org Streaming video innovation began in 2005 with breed judging highlights on a delayed basis but we’re told this year, 187 dog breeds will be available live. If you miss your breed’s judging, live video will be permanently available for viewing on the Westminster website.
Westminster Shows 2 New Breeds, the Russell Terrier and the Treeing Walker Coonhound. Now that may not sound like news. After all, there’s the Parson Russell Terrier which was AKC recognized in 1997 but this new-old, low-stationed breed has captured the heart of all Terrier fans. Click here for detailed Russell Terrier information. The Treeing Walker Coonhound was officially named and recognized by UKC (United Kennel Club) in 1945. It is just one of the UKC breeds in which hunting ability has been studiously maintained through the United Kennel Club which was formed in 1859.
Best Lodging For Westminster is the "Penta" which by any other name, wouldn’t be directly across the street from the entrance to Madison Square Garden. New York's Hotel Pennsylvania and Jerry Grymek, Doggie Concierge, lay out the red carpet for exhibitors, handler, and spectators. The hotel lobby is a favorite gathering place where TV crews film dogs and their handlers before and after the glamorous dog show.
Westminster Kennel Club Draws The Press and TV cameras like butterflies to a garden. It is a symbiotic relationship for Americans love dogs almost as much as the Brits. Unfortunately, most of the breed winners will fail to get their photo and comments in the newspapers today. Reporters can’t be in two places at once.
Still, the current arrangements by the Westminster Kennel Club Board makes sense. The crowding and difficulty finding and getting to exits made the Madison Square Garden conditions unsafe for breed judging and benching. Andy Linton, one of America’s top handlers, summed it up when in 2005, our reporters asked him about the proposed move to the new Jets Stadium. “That would be great. This is terrible because it's, well, we all claim to love dogs, but putting dogs in this situation shows we don't love dogs as much as we claim to.”
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the place to see and be seen. Sometimes one wonders how much it is about showing dogs. The year Jackie Onassis walked in trailing her mink coat across the show ring floor as she made her way to their box seat set the stage for succeeding fashion shows. From dog handlers in glittery suits to judges in evening gowns, the big green ring is center stage.
But the sophisticated New York crowd loves the glitz and glamour and the dogs, well, they love to show!
When the spotlight is on the dogs, cameras rolling, flash bulbs firing, every dog in that ring is a Grand Champion. Watching from home, the top row seats, or owners-only ringside, Westminster 2013 is one of the nation’s pinnacle dog shows.
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