There’s a whole lot of shaking going on at the Westminster Dog Show 2017 finals at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. It’s day two of a two-day competition and tonight we learn what everyone here wants to know:
Who is Best in Show?
First, there are three groups to judge: Sporting Group, Working Group and the ever-so-popular Terrier Group. (This one’s my personal favourite because my mutt Victor resembles about five types of terriers).
Who took these groups?
Sporting Group: a beautiful Irish Setter named Adrian who evoked childhood memories for me of the beautiful setter named Chelsea who lived in the yard behind my house.
Working Group: a German Shepherd named Rumor who brought back memories of last year when she won this group then too.
Terriers: a Norwich Terrier named Tanner. This is a breed I just learned about at Saturday’s Meet and Compete event (more about that on dogtrotting.net soon) – and likely my next dog if I ever get another.
So, Adrian, Rumor and Tanner joined last night’s winners – a Boxer, Norwegian Elkhound, miniature Poodle and the to-die-for-cute Pekingese named Chuckie that reminded me of those furry tissue box covers we crafted in the 1970s.
Then the fun – and the shaking – begins.
Almost every dog shakes off the experience of being handled by the judge before making its run around the ring. Shaking, according to dog books I’ve read, is a way for canines to release stress (hence, the ‘shake it off’ expression) and this is a tense competition.
At almost 11 pm, the Best in Show competitors come running into the ring with their handlers to thunderous cheers from the crowd, rivaling any sporting event I’ve seen. This is Madison Square Gardens almost full to capacity. The excitement is audible.
Crowd favourite is noticeable too – Rumor the German Shepherd enters to a deafening roar, while the Boxer named Devlin is a close second. The Pekingese’s rolling gait limits him to an abbreviated spin within the ring – after being carried in like royalty – and earns him some hardy ‘awes’ from the crowd.
Ultimately, it’s Rumor’s night. Last year she made it to the Best in Show ring and this year she takes it home – on a prestigious Silver Platter. Ok, cup. Trophy. And zero dollars. That’s right. There’s no prize money for Best in Show. It’s all about the breeding.
Whatever your feelings about pure bred animals, this event is all about an overwhelming of love for dogs … and this year also cats at Saturday’s Meet and Compete event – only. No, cats did not enter the Westminster judging ring. This one still goes to the dogs.
More about ‘Meet and Compete’ next….
Couldn’t stay up late or missed the grand finale broadcast on Fox Network?
See the Best in Show event at the Westminster Kennel Club Site.
To learn all about how dogs in shows are judged, read Westminster’s Dog Show 101 information.
What happened last year at the grand dog event of the year? Check out the series on dogtrotting.net
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