SAN DIEGO, Feb 10, 2012 – Fans track statistics in the sports of competitive dog shows just like people who follow players for their fantasy football teams. They pour over details like people who pour over baseball statistics. They know the top breeds by ranking overall and in their respective groups and breeds for 2012, just like tennis fans know Novak Djokovic is number one.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has its own impressive set of numbers after 136 years. These numbers will help you put this competition into perspective before watching the 137th edition on Monday and Tuesday, February 11 and 12 (CNBC on Monday, USA Network on Tuesday, 8 - 11 p.m. EST both nights).
UPDATE: Monday results and group winners
Total number of entries: 2,721 dogs, the largest number of entries in 15 years, representing 187 breeds and varieties eligible.
Highest number of entries: Golden Retrievers (61), Labrador Retrievers (54), and Rhodesian Ridgebacks (50), French Bulldogs (46), Australian Shepherds (43), and Chinese Cresteds (40).
Lowest numbers of entries: Five categories have one entry each: Plott, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Kuvasz, Norwegian Lundehund, and Entlebucher Mountain Dog.
Two new breeds: Russell Terrier with 15 entries, and Treeing Walker Coonhound with 13 entries.
Most common home state: For 2013, entries have come from every state and Washington, D.C. For the third straight year, New York has the most with 287. California has 228, New Jersey 219 and Pennsylvania 210. There are 117 foreign entries, led by Canada with 104. Dogs are also entered from Brazil, Germany, Croatia, United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Mexico.
Oldest and youngest winners: Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee, a Sussex Spaniel, became the oldest dog to capture Best In Show at 10 years, 2 months and 9 days of age in 2009. The youngest winner was the Rough Collie, Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven, who captured the award in 1929 at the age of exactly nine months.
Dog breeds with the most wins:
Thirteen wins: Wire Fox Terrier
Eight: Scottish Terrier
Six: English Springer Spaniel
Four each: Airdale Terrier, American Cocker Spaniel, Boxer, Doberman Pinscher, Smooth Fox Terrier, Standard Poodle, Sealyham Terrier, Pekingese
Three each: Miniature Poodle and Pointer
Two each: Afghan Hound, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, German Shorthaired Pointer, Lakeland Terrier, Newfoundland, Norwich Terrier, Old English Sheepdog, Toy Poodle, West Highland White Terrier
One win each: Beagle, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Clumber Spaniel, English Setter, German Shepherd Dog, Irish Water Spaniel, Kerry Blue Terrier, Papillon, Pomeranian, Pug, Rough Collie, Scottish Deerhound, Siberian Husky, Skye Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Sussex Spaniel, Welsh Terrier, Whippet, Yorkshire Terrier
Many of the competitors at Westminster hold obedience titles and work as certified therapy dogs. Every dog has a story; here are a few of the more extraordinary tails… whoops, tales.
Juliettee or Julu (CH Hickory’s Where For Art Thou My Love V Lefleur, Bernese Mountain Dog #14), is among the therapy dogs who worked with the children of Newtown, Conn., following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December. Juju lives just five miutes from Newtown, and every day for a month including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, she provided hands-on therapy for the children and parents alike either at a school during the day or therapy center at night.
Steed (GCH Aashtoria Wildhunt 4 Your I’s Only RN, Borzoi #25) owned by G. Ariel Duncan and Ralph Jamison, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is a licensed therapy dog and has appeared on stage at the Metropolitan Opera House in the American Ballet Theater’s production of “Giselle.” Steed has donated over a gallon of blood to help other dogs in need at the Penn Animal Blood Bank bloodmobile.
Rosita (GCH Blanchos Rosita Fernandez, Xoloitzcuintli #7), owned by Anna-Maria Barfoot, Debbie and John Caponetto, of San Antonio, Texas, visits with children suffering one of the side effects of cancer, losing their hair. Rosita, who like most Xolos is hairless herself, teaches the kids they don’t need hair to be beautiful and a grand champion.
Joey (CH AWD Island Joy Ride, American Eskimo Dog #5), originally retired from the show ring after becoming a champion in 2008. In 2011, he was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma and not expected to survive. Through treatment, prayers, lots of love, excellent nutrition and consistent exercise, he is strong and healthy again. His veterinarian calls him “the miracle dog.” The owners are bringing cancer survivor Joey out of retirement for one last trip around the ring in celebration.
There have been a total of 303,756 dogs entered in Westminster’s 136 shows through 2012.
Westminster pre-dates the invention of the light bulb and the automobile, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Washington Monument, the invention of basketball and the establishment of the World Series.
Since Westminster held its first show 133 years ago, there have been 25 men elected president and 12 states have joined the Union. The dog show has outlasted three previous versions of Madison Square Garden, and is currently being staged in MSG IV.
Westminster was first shown on television in 1948, three years before “I Love Lucy” premiered. In 2005, online video with same day coverage of breed judging highlights was made available for the first time on the Westminster website. This year it will be shown live for the first time.
The Empire State Building first honored Westminster by lighting its tower in the Westminster colors of purple and gold in 2004 and will do so again in 2013.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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