Dog show

Westminster Dog Show moves to Lyndhurst in June

[ See photos and follow our live coverage from the 2021 Westminster dog show.]

The best dogs in the country are spending a weekend in the country.

The Westminster Kennel Club, organizer of the popular dog show that has been a winter tradition in New York for more than a century, announced on Wednesday that its 2021 event will move from Madison Square Garden, its longtime home, to Lyndhurst , a real estate river in Tarrytown, NY, north of the city, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The dates for the main judging competitions will be June 12 and 13, although the weekend will start with the Masters Agility Championship on Friday June 11. The show’s best judgment will air live on Fox, which will pick up the event. of his wired partner for the Sunday night finale.

The move to an outdoor show in hot weather was necessary, organizers said, to ensure the event could take place while adhering to “ever-changing government restrictions” brought about by the health crisis. The grounds of Lyndhurst have a long history of hosting dog shows, including dozens of events hosted by the Westchester Kennel Club.

“The wide-open outdoor space of this extraordinary venue allows us to hold a safe dog show while adhering to current social distancing guidelines and public health regulations,” said Westminster Speaker Charlton Reynders. III, in a press release.

Many details of next year’s show, from the layout of the judging areas to whether fans will be allowed to attend, remain unclear, given the continued spread of the coronavirus and the fluidity of recommendations and health rules to combat it. In other large fairs held outdoors, the competition areas are sometimes set up in large tents without walls.

Whatever the details, the extensive collection of antique furniture inside iconic Lyndhurst Castle – which is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation – is likely to remain off limits even to champions.

The venue change, which was made possible when two other shows agreed to waive June dates, will allow the Westminster show to extend an ongoing series that dates back to 1877 and includes 100 years of shows at various iterations of Madison Square Garden. . Only the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875 and crowns a horse, not a dog, as champion, has had a longer run among American sporting events.

Westminster also announced on Wednesday that three new breeds would enter competition in 2021: the Barbet (“France’s archetypal water dog”) in the sporting group; the Belgian Laekenois (“an affectionate, alert and intelligent dog bred to herd and guard flocks and fields”) in the herding group; and the Dogo Argentino (“bred to find, hunt, and catch dangerous game”), who will join the task force and lead the kennel club’s soccer team. (OK, that last part isn’t true.)

The additions will join the 208 eligible breeds competing for best in show.