Westminster Dog Show this year had 2,721 entries, the largest number of dogs in 15 years. Over the past few years, numbers entered had declined due to space constraints at Madison Square Garden, which is under construction. This year, the daytime activities associated with the show were moved to the Piers. This is an expansive space on the Hudson River on the West side of Manhattan allowed for twelve rings, the benching space for all these individual dogs as well as space for vendors selling everything from pet food to breed specific earrings or bracelets for people. The Piers are just that, two long separate side-by-side piers jutting like fingers out into the Hudson River (separating New York and New Jersey). And because of the extra space the thousands of attendees don’t feel and crushed, at least that is the hope.
Here’s what happens – all the dogs must compete against their own first. So, you name the breed (there are 187 breeds and varieties), from the Golden Retriever to the Chinese Crested first they compete against other members of their own breed. Ultimately only one dog can represent the breed and move on to the evening competition seen on TV.
These images are from activities that occurred during the day.