Night two one of the oldest sporting events in the U.S. – The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Controversy starts the night – a conflict with ownership means Colton, the stunning black Schipperke, isn’t permitted to compete in best of show tonight despite winning first best in breed then best in class last night. Unlike Miss America, second place doesn’t step up, which means only six dogs will grace the ring during big final at the 143rd biggest dog show in North America.
FOX Sports is airing the event Tuesday, February 12, 7 pm EST in the US and on the National Geographic Channel in Canada.
After two days of breed specific ring competitions at Pier 92 in NYC, the excited winners of Best in Breed make their way to the Madison Square Gardens’ evening event – a chance of a lifetime for pedigree pups – and 103 entries hail from Canada.
The Sporting Group
The Sporting Group, the first in the ring Tuesday evening. Many of these breeds competed in the early Westminster dog shows in 1877 thanks to a hunting dog focus. Tonight, the fact the Logotto Romagnolo is known for sniffing truffles, garners some snickers from the crowd. Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes new this year is charmingly competitive, but understandably the excitement level rises for the familiar Golden Retriever family dog.
My favourite? The Nova Scotia Duck Toller and the English Setter who looks as elegant as Victorian upholstery.
The Winner: Sussex Spaniel. Second is the Irish Setter. Third is American Water Spaniel and fourth is the black Cocker Spaniel.
The Working Group
Next, the Working Group, which raises the question, isn’t sporting and herding work? More specifically, these dogs historically did all kinds of tasks, including pulling charts and sleds, and standing guard as protectors. Today, most require much socialization and are ‘not for the timid,’ according to the WKC announcer emphasizes.
Maybe it’s the Great Dane’s year – a crowd favourite but has never taken top spot.
My choice to win: The Giant Schnauzer because he looks like a bigger Victor, my dog.
The Winner: The Boxer. Second is Siberian Husky. Third and fourth goes to Kuvaszok and the Doberman Pinscher.
The Terrier Group
Followed by the popular Terrier Group. The (almost) best for last, the terrier group is extremely popular and looking at these cute determined faces prance around the ring you can’t help but cheer. The Norfolk Terrier evokes a boisterous applause. Not be confused with the Norwich who follows, charming the crowd with is attitude.
My pick: The Parson Russel Terrier because he’s just too determined.
The Winner: The Wire Fox Terrier. (This breed has won Best in Show the most at WKC dog show). The second is American Staffordshire Terrier. Third is the Skye Terrier, and fourth is Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier.
Lots of sparkle, lots of concentration, lots of hope and disappointment … and tonight, lots of freezing rain in the Big Apple. But the floor of Madison Square Gardens is hot, energetic and electric – at least that’s what the handlers say.
The big question of the night: Who is best in show?
That honour goes to….