SAN DIEGO, Feb 11, 2012 – The first night of the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show produced a few surprises and four Group winners who will comete for Best in Show on Tuesday.
The showstopper of the night was the winner in the final group of the evening, the Herding Group. To much applause, an old English Sheepdog just 20 months old named “Swagger” lived up to his name with the win. Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect is called a “class” dog, allowed to enter after winning a major competition despite not yet earning his Champion status. This is like a rookie pitcher throwing a shutout against a Cy Young Award winner – not impossible, but unexpected.
Breeder-owner-handle Colin Johnson’s family raised Swagger. After the win, he said “We have a lot of faith in the dog, a lot of belief in the dog. We’ve been bredding dogs for a long time, and this is the best of the best.
They’re all beautiful dogs. It’s the judge’s preference, I’m just honored to be the one that he chose.”
One of the favorite won in the Hound Group, Jewel, an American Foxhound that likes vanilla milkshakes, GCH CH Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box took honors Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
“I call her my tomboy princess,” co-owner, breeder and handler Lisa Miller said
Honor the bichon frise was another popular winner in the Nonsporting group. He is co-owned by Ellen Charles, who is also the co-owner of Jewel, the Hound Group winner.
“My lucky night,” Charles said.
The prohibitive favorite in the Toy Group won as expected, the Affenpinscher called Banana Joe. Known for his monkeylike face, he earlier won best of breed honors for the third straight year.
Sporting, Working, and Terrier Group breeds judged Tuesday
Sporting, Working, and Terrier Group breeds will go through their individual competitions during the day Tuesday. The breed winners will be judged in their groups on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Westminster website (www.westminsterkennelclub.org) will show live streaming video of each individual breed competition, judging results and photos all day Tuesday. There is also a free iPhone and Android app available to let you follow the show on your mobile device.
The seven Group winners will compete for Best in Show on Tuesday evening, February 12 as the culminating event of this year’s show at approximately 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Judge Michael Dougherty of Escondido, California, will pick the Best in Show. He has been sequestered and has no information on the competition, and will not know what winners he will see until he steps into the ring for the final judging.
The remaining group competition will be televised live on Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on the USA Network, ending with the Best in Show.
Will the winning pooch be able to fit inside the silver bowl presented to the winner? Or will the victorious canine use it to hold a few treats? Either way, he or she will embark on a whirlwind media tour, ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and will enjoy a year’s reign as America’s Top Dog for 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this column.
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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