Classy Show Judges Determine a Canine Idol at Westminster
“But you see, they’re judging dogs,” continues Holt. “Animals and children are the great equalizers. Even Simon (Cowell) would be a little kinder and gentler, and maybe even melt as that dog wags a tail.”
Holt adds, “Of course, a dog with any taste may lift a leg toward Simon,” Holt laughs. But as venerable dog show announcer David Frei adds, “You never know what can happen. First off, they are dogs, of course. But the setting is tough to handle for some. 18,500 screaming fans. Living in a hotel room. And having to deal with the sights, sounds and smells of
So, some dogs expected to shine may fall by the wayside simply because they don’t love
Last year’s Best of Show winner, a colored bull terrier named Rufus, is no exception. The only problem is that the Colored Bull Terrier, a variety of a breed banned along with Pit Bulls in many communities. “Rufus is a wonderful example, and ambassador for this type of dog,” says Frei, who is director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club. “He’s a celebrity in his own right, who’s raised money for charity, and he’s a good dog. It may sound trite, but it is true – there are no bad dogs; there are only bad owners.”
Both evenings, during the live TV broadcast, viewers will see the top dog representing each breed (shown in the Group judging). That’s the winner based on a series of competitions held earlier in the day. This daytime competition to determine the Best in Breed can now be viewed on the Internet within a few hours following the actual judging at www.westminsterkennelclub.org. Last year, the website enjoyed 127 million hits to view video of Best in Breed. “Of course, you want to see examples of what you happen to have, of your own best friend lying on the couch next to you,” Frei says.
This is the 131st Annual Westminster Dog Show, only one sporting event, the Kentucky Derby, has been around longer. No doubt because of the TV coverage, and now the Internet –
For the first time ever
Frei, a veteran of 18
Champion. Hobergay’s Fineus Fogg (Fineus Fogg), a Dandie Dinmont terrier co-owned by Bill Cosby (who is likely to attend the show) is the number one dog in the nation. Last year, he won Best in Breed at
Champion Felicity’s Diamond Jim (James) the English Springer Spaniel won the won the 2006 AKC/Eukanuba dog show, and he’s the number two dog in the country.
Champion Some Like It Hot (Marilyn – as in Marilyn Monroe), a Boxer who has momentum at the moment and seems to be on a winning streak.
Champion Stonebroke Right on the Money (Benlow), a Sealyham Terrier who does an awful lot of winning at big shows.
No question, whoever wins the Terrier Group might have the best shot for Best in Show, a representative of that Group has won BIS 44 times at the Garden, more than any other Group. Interestingly, two of