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Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Westminster Dog Show Preview

Banana Joe, 2013 WKC champion. (Stan Honda/Getty)
The eyes of the sports world are turned towards Sochi and the Winter Olympics.  But, here at Banshee Sports, we are turning our focus to the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  Monday and Tuesday of this week, New York City will go to the dogs.  And on Tuesday night, the Westminster Kennel Club will have chosen just one dog to anoint with the prestigious title of Best in Show for 2014.

Even though the Olympics are underway, the NBC family of networks will once again devote six hours of live televised coverage to the WKC Dog Show.  On Monday night, the coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. EST on CNBC.  Monday night's events will include the crowning of Best in Group for the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups.  On Tuesday night, the coverage will be on USA at 8:00 p.m. EST.  On Tuesday night, the judges will select the Best in Group for the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups.  The festivities will conclude on Tuesday night with the crowning of the Best in Show for 2014.

The 138th WKC Show has 2,845 dogs entered in 187 breeds.  Labrador Retrievers lead the way with 76 entries, and Golden Retrievers are second with 56 entries.  This year's show will include three newly recognized breeds.  Those are the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno in the Hound group, the Chinook in the Working group and the Rat Terrier in the Terrier Group.

Swagger, Best in Herding Group 2013.
When it comes to assembling the field for Westminster, the top five dogs in each breed as well as a variety of specialty  winners are specifically invited by the Westminster Kennel Club.  Last year's champion, Banana Joe, is not back to defend his title in 2014.  That leaves the door wide open for Swagger, the Old English Sheepdog.  At just 20 months old, in 2013 Swagger surprised the experts by taking home Best in Group for the Herding group at Westminster.  This year, Swagger is more experienced and more well-known by the judges.  Both factors will help him in his quest for Best in Show.

Swagger is by no means a lock to win Best in Show, however.  Matisse, the Portuguese Water Dog, is a solid contender for Best in Show.  Matisse won Best in Group in the Working group in 2013.  Matisse will have his work cut out for him to fend off Fifi the Doberman just to get out of
group.  Sky, the Wire Fox Terrier, is also expected to make a push for the title in her third trip to Westminster.

Check back with Banshee Sports throughout the week for continuing coverage of the 138th Westminster Kennel Club's Annual Dog Show.

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