By Zoe Sottile, CNN
(CNN) – Labradors, Poodles and Terriers – oh my.
These dog breeds and many more will be on display from Saturday as part of the 146th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the second oldest continuous sporting event in the United States after the Kentucky Derby. The Westminster Kennel Club was formed in the 1870s by a group of dog fanciers meeting at the Westminster Hotel. In 1876 they decided to start an annual dog show, and in 1877 they had their first show in New York.
Today, the show is a multi-day competition involving thousands of dogs from across the country. Hundreds of dog breeds are categorized into seven groups: Sporting, Hunting, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding.
Each canine competitor will compete first for best in breed. The winning dogs will then advance to Best in Group and finally Best in Show.
In addition to this breed contest, the show also includes agility and obedience trials, which are open to mixed-breed dogs. During the agility trial, the dogs will perform a complex obstacle course, weaving between posts and jumping over fences. And in the obedience competition, the dogs will show their ability to follow their master’s commands.
When and where is the Westminster Kennel Club dog show?
The Westminster Kennel Club dog show will begin Saturday, June 18 at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. This is the second year in a row that the show has taken place in Lyndhurst instead of its usual home in Madison Square Garden in New York. The competition has been moved due to concerns over COVID-19, according to a press release.
Saturday’s competition is the Masters Agility Championship, with prelims taking place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The final competition takes place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Competition will resume on Monday June 20 with the Masters Obedience Championship and judging of the Hound and Herding breeds. Both competitions will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, June 21, spectators can watch Toy, Terrier and Non-Sporting Breed Judging and Junior Showmanship Preliminaries, where kids show off their dog-handling skills, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then the judging of dog, toy, non-sporting and herd groups takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, June 22, Sporting and Working breed judging and Junior Showmanship Preliminaries will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Junior Showmanship Finals will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Finally, the winners of each of the seven groups will compete for Best in Show.
How can I watch the Westminster Kennel Club dog show?
Spectators hoping to see the action live can still purchase tickets for the show online. But if you can’t make it to Tarrytown, don’t worry: the show will air on westminsterkennelclub.org, the WKC app and the FOX Sports app.
FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage of the competition, and Canadian dog lovers can watch the broadcast on Sportsnet.
Who is in competition?
Nearly 3,500 dogs will take part in the competition, according to the Westminster Kennel Club. Entrants are invited to compete based on strict entry requirements, including the number of other dogs they have defeated in breed competitions. Dogs may also become eligible if they have won a number of major show prizes.
A total of 209 dog breeds and varieties will compete for Best in Show. This year, two new breeds are eligible for the award: the Mudi, a Herding Group dog from Hungary, and the Russian Toy, a small Toy Group competitor once popular among Russian aristocracy.
There will be 70 golden retrievers, 49 labrador retrievers and 46 pugs in attendance, making them the most represented dogs at the show.
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