Dog show

How to watch on TV, broadcast information, new breeds

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For the first time in its history, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will not take place at Madison Square Garden.

Instead, the 145th running of the event — the second-oldest continuously held sporting event behind the Kentucky Derby — begins Saturday at Lyndhurst, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property, in Tarrytown, New York. The competition ends on Sunday with the nomination of Best in Show 2021.

The event is not open to spectators due to New York State COVID-19 regulations. Bands and Best in Show will be televised live on Fox beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

Siba, a 4-year-old Standard Poodle, won Best in Show 2020 with handler Chrystal Murray-Clas. She was only the fifth of her breed to win the title, and the first since Whisperwind’s On A Carousel in 1991. miniature Surrey Spice Girl in 2002.

Here’s what to expect from this year’s dog walk:

How Judgment Works

There are seven different breed groups in Westminster: herding, gun dog, non-sporting, sporting, terrier, toy and working. Breeds are evaluated according to the standard set by their parent club, which means that competing dogs are not compared to other competitors, but to ideal proportions, weight and height, shape of the head, gait and other qualities of the breed. Once a dog wins its breed, it is judged within its group. The group winners then advance to the Best in Show category.

Four groups add new races

Joining the 2021 competition are four breeds newly recognized by the American Kennel Club: the Barbet, Biewer Terrier, Belgian Laekenois and Dogo Argentino.

While the Barbet and the Dogo Argentino were recognized in December 2019, neither was eligible to compete until 2021. The Barbet (pronounced “bar-bay”), a French water dog, joins the sporting group and the Dogo Argentino, a pack hunting dog developed in the 20th century in the Argentine province of Cordoba, will compete in the working group.

The long-haired, ponytailed Biewer Terrier (pronounced “beaver”) joins the toy group. Rounding out the pack is the Belgian Laekenois (pronounced “lak-in-wah”), a rare Belgian breed competing in the herding group.

MORE: 85-year-old legend to judge Best in Show

To be recognized by the AKC, a breed must have a significant population in the United States and a national club of breeders.

Moving north

Lyndhurst, once owned by railroad tycoon Jay Gould, is located 25 miles north of New York’s Madison Square Garden, which Westminster commonly calls home. The estate was designed in 1983 by architect Alexander Jackson Davis and has been dubbed America’s finest Gothic Revival mansion.

While this may be the first – and potentially only – time the estate will host Westminster, the property has a long history of hosting dog shows. Several members of the Gould family participated in Westminster around the time of its inception; breed, own and exhibit four of the top five recognized breeds. Frank Jay Gould, Jay’s youngest son, became known for his love of smooth and rough coated St. Bernards. He founded the Gould Challenge Cup, which honors the best American-bred St. Bernard owned by a member of St. Bernard’s of America Club.

“It’s so important that we’re here, mask-free, out in the open and enjoying the great property of Lyndhurst,” Ken Jenkins, deputy Westchester County executive, told a news conference on Tuesday. . “I know our four-legged friends are going to enjoy all that Lyndhurst has to offer.”

Dogs to Watch

Fans of last year’s Westminster will be delighted to hear that Daniel, a golden retriever who won the sporting group – and the hearts of many viewers – will be competing again. Siba, the defending champion, will also be back. Other dogs to watch include Bourbon, a Whippet who won the 20th AKC National Championship in January, and Pequest Wasabi, the Pekingese who was a runner-up and Toy Group winner.