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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day One at Westminster

The 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show got underway today at Madison Square Garden.  During the afternoon, the best in breed competitions for four of the groups were judged.  A sampling of these competitions was available for viewing online through out the day at the WKC website.  Then the bright lights turned on at the World's Most Famous Arena when Best in Group was awarded in the first four groups.


Malachy
Hound Group: The first group to take to the center ring was the Hound Group.  This group has a hilarious range of dogs in terms of size.  It includes the enormous Afghan Hound and the petite 13" Beagle.  Last year's best in show came out of this group.  But Hickory, a Scottish Deerhound, is now retired and was not back to defend her title.  So, the road was cleared for Cinders the Wirehair Dachshund to win the group.

Toy Group:  The Toy Group has a lot of unusual looking dogs, including the Pug, the Chihuahua and the Pomeranian.  But, no one was more exotic looking on this night than Malachy the Pekingese.  Malachy took home the prize for Best in Group and should be a formidable competitor in Best in Show.

Spotlights Ruffian
Non Sporting Group:  This group is basically a catch-all group.  Originally, the WKC was only divided into only two groups, Sporting and Non Sporting.  The Hound, Toy and Herding groups all broke off into their own categories.  The current members of the group are the breeds that were left.  Martha Stewart owned a Chow named Ghengis Kahn in this group.  But, it was the Dalmatian that earned top spot in the Non Sporting Group tonight.



Herding Group:  The final group of Day One was the Herding Group.  This group has many easily recognizable and popular breeds, including the Australian Shepherd, the Old English Sheepdog and the Collie.  Over the years, this group has not faired well in the Best in Show.  Manhattan, a German Shepherd in 1987 is the only member of the group to ever win the top prize at Westminster.  Much to the crowd's delight, Capi, another German Shepherd was awarded first place in the group this year.