Your 2013 Westminster Experiences
We asked our Facebook Fans about their Westminster 2013 experiences, and here's what they said.
DIR Editors |
February 28, 2013
Super Storm Nemo ravaged the Northeast the weekend before Westminster, and flights were cancelled and roads were closed. Breed judging was moved to Piers 92/94 instead of being held at Madison Square Garden, and exhibitors and their dogs had to be bussed across Manhattan to MSG if they won the breed. And for spectators who stayed at home, there was a Westminster app released, live streaming Best of Breed judging and Group and Best in Show judging on cable TV. Each exhibitor and spectator had a unique experience at this Westminster Kennel Club dog show, so we asked you on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/DogsInReview) about your Westminster 2013 experiences. Here's what you said!
Clint Werner: I have never been to Westminster. I had doubts about the splitting of venues, but it looks so much more safe and comfortable. I was told that in past years Madison Square Garden had become an over-crowded fire trap, now I'm planning to attend next year.
JavaHill Tollers: We too had a great time, but our experiences with the busing was not good. Loading dogs into a regular shuttle with no space for crates and dollies right next to four lanes of frantic taxis was scary and dangerous! The first bus lowered and blew off a scream as my juniors dog was walking up to get on. Thank God the handler used a choke collar and solid hold on him! The second bus back midday got lost and took 45 minutes ... and this was in decent weather. But the Piers venue was so much better, except getting between them was rough. So much better for vendors!
Jennifer Zappone: I showed my 15-month-old Champion Smooth Collie bitch there this year. While I admit that I, like everyone else, wasnt happy with the change in venue, I could only think of just how horrible this was going be and dreaded it. However, my mind changed completely when I drove into the city Sunday afternoon to drop off my equipment. Getting there was a little tricky, but we managed to get there. To my surprise the venue was very spacious, bright and well set up. On Monday we got to the Piers at about 7:30 a.m., and the parking lot was just about full, but we did find a spot. Inside, even with the crowd, there was still ample room to walk and get from ring to setup. I have to say I really enjoy this venue. I didn't have to continually push people out of the way to get to my ring, and the rings were easily located and closeby. I actually cant wait til next year.
How did you watch Westminster this year?
- Streaming online only 22%
- Streaming online and on television 52%
- On television only 13%
- In person 10%
- I did not watch at all 3%
Jeanette Humphries: Love Westminister ... I've watched it at home for the last seven years, and it has to be by far my favorite TV event! I love to see the different breeds, and I very much enjoyed the live streaming of BOB this year.
Linda Pincheck: The live streaming was the best. I could not go this year, but it was great to be able to watch the Breed juding live.
Margie Goehring: My neighbors showed again this year their Grand Champion, and they've said it always a been great time and honor to show there in the past.
Jinnie Strickland: We didn't have any issue with transport; we had great travel karma all the way around.
Kerry M. Forni: Piers benching was superior to benching at MSG ... wider aisles and plenty of room to walk, better airflow (thus cooler for the dogs), more room to walk and see all the vendors, and much bigger rings for showing. Bussing without a dog was fine. Bussing with multiple dogs, crates and equipment needs improvement. There was not enough room on the busses for large dogs in crates, dollies, tables, etc. And loading streetside in traffic was just plain dangerous. The morning was not as bad as the end of the day when everyone was leaving at the same time. Maybe have private van service for handlers with multiple dogs and loading/unloading in back of Pier 94 at the covered area where the potty yards were and those banks of portable toilets.
Kathryn Graves: I stayed in New Jersey and hired a car to drive me in. I had a lot of trepidation about getting into the venue, but there were lots of staff directing people where to go. This venue is much much better space-wise and more comfortable for exhibitors, dogs and spectators. Once they released us from benching, I thought it would take us a long time to get out, but the staff got us out quickly and efficiently. I was nostalgic about stepping out onto the floor of MSG and the crowded Westminster benching experience, but this was so much better. Releasing us at 6:00 p.m. instead of 8:00 p.m. was great, as we were able to grab dinner before heading to Madison Square Garden for groups.
Tina Duncan: Benching was good. I was a first-time exhibitor, so I don't know how it was at Madison Square Garden. Traveling was OK if you didn't have a dog. Being an exhibitor trying to watch your dog in the ring was down right insane. That was the one thing I didn't like. You pay tons of money to be there and can't even watch at ringside. Something should be done for the exhibitors when it comes to watching our dogs.
Marc Ralsky: I loved the piers for daytime judging and benching. It was hard to see popular rings unless you were over 6 feet tall. Maybe some raised bleacher seating would help. Also if you have two dogs and one wins, you can take the other with you at 3:00 p.m. to head over to Madison Square Garden. They aren't released til 5:00 p.m., but the winners must be benched at MSG by 5:00 p.m. So we had to hire a driver to go back and forth and have our assistant wait with the other dog til 5:00 p.m., then rush to hotel to get the other dog and then run back to MSG to help with preparing for the groups. The spectators in the benching at MSG was dangerous and scary for the dogs. Otherwise it was an awesome experience, and I loved the Piers. Great job. Friendly helpful staff everywhere. It was nice to be greeted all nervous at 7:30 a.m. with smiling welcoming faces!
Michele Connor: It was my first time going to Westminster, but we almost didn't make it. I live in Connecticut, and we got more than 3 feet of snow. I called every plow company and could not get my driveway cleared. My Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was entered, and we were determined to get there. My husband, the hero, carried my dog through 3 feet of snow down our quarter-mile-long driveway.
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