CNN Editorial Research
Here’s a look at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the second oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, after the Kentucky Derby.
December 29, 2021 – Westminster Kennel Club President announces that the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be postponed due to Covid-19. The show was originally scheduled to take place in January.
June 12-13, 2021 – The Westminster Kennel Club’s 145th Annual Dog Show takes place at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York.
The show is ‘on the bench’ which means the dogs must be on display to the public to ticket holders throughout the competition.
Dogs are invited to compete based on strict entry requirements, including the number of other dogs they have defeated in breed competitions. Uninvited dogs can also compete if they have won a number of major dog show awards.
The breeds are classified into groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-sporting and Breeding.
Dogs compete for the best of the breed, then move on to the best of the group, then compete for the best of the show grand prize.
A total of 209 dog breeds and varieties were eligible for the 2021 show.
Around 2,500 dogs were competing for prizes at the 2021 event.
Wire fox terrier dogs have won the most Best in Show awards – 15 in 2021.
Forty-seven varieties of breeds have won the Best in Show award, as of 2021.
Seven dogs won more than one Best in Show. The most recent was an English Springer Spaniel named Chinoe’s Adamant James, who won in 1971 and 1972.
1870s – The Westminster Kennel Club is started by a group of men who meet frequently at the Westminster Hotel in New York and are interested in dogs.
1876 - The WKC decides to organize an annual dog show to improve dog breeds and generate public interest.
May 8-10, 1877 – The WKC presents the first annual New York Shoal Dog Show. The show takes place in Gilmore Gardens on Madison Avenue and 26th Street in New York City. The show was so popular with the public that it was extended for an additional day.
1888 – The date of the show is moved from May to February.
1907 – The show presents its first Best in Show award, to a smooth fox terrier named Ch. Warren Remedy. He also won in 1908 and 1909.
1921 – The show goes from four days to three days.
1923 – Best in Show is not awarded as the American Kennel Club strives to have standards and regulations in place to ensure consistency.
1941 – The show becomes a two day event.
1984 – The biggest dog to win the Best in Show award is Seward’s Blackbeard, a 155-pound Newfoundland.
1988 – The smallest dog to win the Best in Show award is Great Elms Prince Charming II, a 4.5 pound Pomeranian.
2009 – Best in Show is a Sussex Spaniel, Ch Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee, aka Stump. At 10, he is the oldest winner in the history of the show.
2013 – GCH Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, aka Banana Joe or Joey, becomes the first affenpinscher to win Best in Show. Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect AKA Swagger, an English Sheepdog, is named Reserve Best in Show, a second prize reintroduced for the 2013 show after not being awarded since 1925.
2014 – Sky, a female fox terrier, wins the Best in Show award. This is the 14th time that a wire fox terrier has won the Best in Show award, more than any other breed.
Aug 11, 2015 – The WKC announces the addition of the Masters Obedience Championship to the 2016 Show. This is the first time that an obedience competition has been part of the Westminster Dog Show and, like the agility competition, mixed breed dogs will be eligible.
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