In February of this year, the gigantic Madison Square Garden hosted a large number of people who had come to support their favorites. But this favorite wasn’t a band or a sports team. Nah! These favorites were dogs of different breeds, accompanied by their owners and handlers. Under a clear blue sky, dogs with shiny coats and impressive build take their positions and wait for the final decision.
The venue, jam packed with hundreds of people, echoed with the applause as the crowd cheer for each and every four-legged that waited, patiently, for its fate.
The discussions are done, and the pen is lifted. The crowd and furry participants anxiety rose. amid cheers and applause, the winner is announced: Siba, the standard poodle emerged as the winner of the show that continued for full three days.
While it was shocking for many who were rooting for the Golden Retriever and Havanese, Siba’s attitude throughout the show suggested that the decision is fair and justified. For people for whom this is the first time they are hearing about a “dog show”, let us give a brief history about what the event is all about.
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
The first Westminster kennel club dog show has been around since the 1800s. It was started by a group of men who would occasionally meet at the Westminster hotel and were interested in dogs. In 1877, the first show was held at Gilmore’s Garden in New York. Hundreds of dogs from all over the world participated in the show to fight for the prize. Since then the show has been held annually without interruptions. This year the show marked its 144th year of being in business.
Words for Siba – the Winner
Even though the majority from the crowd wanted the Golden Retriever to win the best in show probably because the breed hasn’t won the best in show title ever, Siba’s performance impressed the judge, Robert H. Slay, to a great extent.
Her handler, Chrystal Clas, had already expressed, before the show, that the recently concluded show would be the poodle’s last as she’s retiring. The victory made the poodle’s retirement even sweeter and more unforgettable. Clas had the following to say about the now Westminster champion, Siba, “She’s so elegant and full of herself and funny”.
Westminster Dog Show 2020 Recap and Some Facts
After the Kentucky Derby – a horse race held in the US – the Westminster Dog Show is the second-oldest continuous sporting event. The show, in its 144th year, was recently held in February 2020 with much fanfare. The show crowned Siba, the standard poodle, as its winner and is now gearing up for its next season that is scheduled to take place between February 15 and February 16, 2021. (Let’s just hope that the global pandemic is controlled by then and we are able to enjoy the show without fears and in much better health).
Let’s have a quick look at some fascinating facts about the 144th dog show:
- Throughout the show, all the dogs who participate in the show ought to be on ‘public display’ to ticket holders.
- The following categories are created to place different breeds in various groups: Non-sporting, terrier, hound, toy, working, herding, and sporting.
- The show has strict entry requirements for participating dogs who are mostly invited to compete in the show. The first thing that is checked is the number of dogs the participating dog has defeated in breed competitions. Non-invited dogs can also participate in the show and compete for the prize if they have been the winner of a certain number of dog shows.
- Dogs first compete for Best in Breed, then go up for Best in Group, and, finally, for Best in Show.
- For the 2020 show, around 204 dog breeds were eligible.
- In the 2020 dog show, an impressive 2,630 dogs participated in the show.
- As of 2020, 47 dog breed varieties have won the Best in Show award. Out of this huge number, however, Golden Retrievers haven’t been able to bag the Best in Show award to date. (A prime reason why the crowd present in the 2020 event was trying to cajole the judge into giving the crown to the finalist Golden Retriever)
- Seven dogs have won the competition more than once. Here is the list of the repeat winners:
- Repeat Winners
- No. of times won
- Ch Warren Remedy Fox Terrier (Smooth)
- 1907, 1908, 1909
- Ch Matford Vic Fox Terrier (Wire)
- 1915, 1916
- Ch Conejo Wycollar Boy Fox Terrier (Wire)
- 1917, 1920
- Ch Pendley Calling of Blarney Fox Terrier (Wire)
- 1930, 1931
- Ch My Own Brucie Cocker Spaniel (Black)
- 1940, 1941
- Ch Rancho Dobe’s Storm Doberman Pinscher
- 1952, 1953
- Ch Chinoe’s Adamant James Spaniel (English Springer)
- 1971, 1972
- Wire fox terrier breed dogs have won the most number of the Best in Show award – 15 as of 2020.
- Last year – in the 2019 event – Colton the Schipperke who was the winner of the sporting group was declared ineligible for the competition. The reason for this disqualification was one of Colton’s owners distant working relationship with the best in show judge, Peter Green.
Finalist of the 2020 Show
The following were the seven finalists that competed for the best in show award in Westminster 2020 dog show:
Name of the Dog
Wire fox terrier
The Final Word
The Westminster dog show is quite a popular event that sees the participation of more than a thousand dogs from all over the world. Dog lovers from all places come to the venue to cheer for the adorable dogs. It’s a treat to watch the canines compete for the Best in Show award. For a night full of cute antics of people’s pet dogs, the show is the ideal place to be.