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 – The President of the Westminster Kennel Club announces that the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be postponed due to Covid-19. The show was originally scheduled to be held in January.
June 12-13, 2021 – The 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is held at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York.
The show is ‘benched’ which means the dogs must be on public display for 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.
Breeds are categorized into groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding.
Dogs compete for best in breed, then move on to best in group, then compete for the grand prize of best in show.
A total of 209 dog breeds and varieties were eligible for the 2021 show.
About 2,500 dogs competed for prizes at the 2021 event.
Wire Fox Terrier breed dogs have won the most Best in Show awards – 15 in 2021.
Forty-seven breed varieties have won Best in Show awards, 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.
1870 – The Westminster Kennel Club is started by a group of men who meet frequently at the Westminster Hotel in New York and have an interest in dogs.
1876 – The WKC decides to hold an annual dog show to improve dog breeds and generate public interest.
May 8-10, 1877 – The WKC presents the first New York Bench Show of Dogs. The show takes place at Gilmore’s Gardens on Madison Avenue and 26th Street in New York City. The show is so popular with the public that it is 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. Remedy Warren. 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 put in place standards and regulations to ensure uniformity.
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 ever 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 award reintroduced for the 2013 show after not having won since 1925.
2014 – Sky, a female fox terrier, wins Best in Show. This is the 14th time a wired fox terrier has won the Best in Show award, more than any other breed.
August 11, 2015 – The WKC announces the addition of the Masters Obedience Championship to the 2016 show. This is the first time an obedience trial has been part of the Westminster Dog Show and, like the agility trial, mixed breed dogs will be eligible.
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