Recounting the 2010 Westminster Show and Show Dogs of the Year
From "Editor's Note," Dogs in Review, March 2010
Sure, there may have been other sports being played in early February in Vancouver, B.C. Even sports of Olympic proportions. However, for true dog fanciers the world over, all roads lead to the Garden. In fact, the first person I bumped into at the front desk of my hotel was an old and dear friend from none other than British Columbia. But she had Giant Schnauzers, not giant slaloms, on her radar. For anyone zeroing in on 7th and 33rd, the only sport worth talking about was conformation.
Welcome to our annual Westminster Issue. This year, the weather outside was frightful — New York City got lots more snow than the Winter Olympics did — and the competition indoors delightful. Definitely red-hot.
Festivities for many included “A Little Night Music” on Friday evening, with Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones giving us a breath of two-legged stardom.
The hottest ticket in town on Saturday evening was the Purina® ProPlan® Show Dogs of the Year Awards, presented by Dogs in Review and held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Now in its 55th year, this black-tie event not only honors the dogs that have won the greatest number of Group Firsts in their respective variety groups but also incorporates the beloved Winkies® for Annual Achievement, presented by Cherrybrook Premium Show Dog Supplies. Co-hosts Michael Faulkner and Wayne Ferguson handled their duties efficiently and with charm. Consummate dog man Frank Sabella was inducted into the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame. Dogs in Review readers voted for their favorite nominees and Winkies® were ultimately bestowed on Jere Marder for Best Owner-Handler; Larry Cornelius for Best Professional Handler; Carol Harris of Bo-Bett Italian Greyhounds and Whippets for Outstanding Breeder; Sandra Goose Allen for Judge of the Year; and the Atlanta Kennel Club for Show of the Year.
Depending upon your tastes and your day job, Sunday was spent at the specialties, the art galleries, the two dog writers’ awards functions or schlepping paraphernalia into the benching area of Madison Square Garden.
Monday was Presidents’ Day and it seemed that every family from the five boroughs with a subway token joined us at Westminster. But all day and into the night great dogs were judged by distinguished arbiters. As always there were surprises at the breed level... not surprising, really, when top dogs in each breed face off on the green carpet. More surprises on Tuesday, in the breed rings and then again during the judging of Best in Show. Two animal rights extremists managed to get past security and make their way onto the floor. They were summarily removed amid a chorus of boos from the crowd. Sitting in the front row of the press box, that was a chilling, surreal moment. If two kooks can get onto the floor of the Garden during the live broadcast of a national sporting event, what’s to prevent a third fanatic from doing so, strapped down with explosives or wielding a shotgun? A wake-up call, indeed.
Despite the disruption, judge Elliott Weiss, along with the seven Group winners and their handlers, rose to the occasion and gave us goose bumps for all the right reasons. After claiming a Group First in 2009, it was Sadie’s night to shine in 2010 and that she did.
Now read on, and relive your memories of the 134th annual Westminster.
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