While most people will watch the Westminster Kennel Club show during the evening group judging, I encourage people to watch their favorite breed being judged, available in a live stream for the first time this year. Most of the armchair pundits have written extensively about the top ranked dogs favored to place in the groups and compete in Best In Show, but there will be lots of memories made at the breed level.
In the Sporting Group, the Irish Water Spaniels are not to be missed. Look for a trio of BIS-winning litter sisters from the Whistlestop kennels: GCH CH Whistlestop’s Riley on Fire, Whistlestop’s Fire and Ice and GCH CH Whistlestop’s Wind on the Water. A fourth litter sister, GCH CH Whistlestop the Wind on Fire has just returned from Sweden and has already logged an RBIS. I don’t know when you might see such a litter of IWS again. Though not related, there will be an impressive trio of English Setters in Jamie Hubbard’s ring at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, GCH CH Oakley’s B’Dazzled, GCH CH Stargaz’R ‘N Wingfield Time Will Tell and GCH CH Aerden’s Pretty In Pink JH. All were among the Top 100 Dogs All Breeds in 2012, and all three have posted multiple group wins already this year.
In the Hound Group, Dr. Jerry Klein will have 25 Afghan Hounds to consider. No other dog moves like an Afghan and thanks to the move to Piers 92 & 94 this year, there will be plenty of room to watch these beauties stride across floor. Look for top winners GCH CH Thaon’s Mowgli, GCH CH Criston’s Enchanted and GCH CH Tells Matrix Reloaded.
You can always count on the Boxers to send up a competitive breed representative. The ones most likely to impress judge Dorothy Collier are GCH CH R and G’s Mystical Dancer, GCH CH Winfall I Dream of Style and GCH CH Hi Tech King of Sherry Shot.
There is but one BIS-winning Russell so far, GCH CH Goldsands Columbus, but I expect that there will be more than one future BIS winner among the 15 entered in judge David Alexander’s Russell Terrier ring.
Toy Dogs are always popular among spatially limited New Yorkers, and there are several breeds that will see fierce competition. Don’t miss Debbie Campbell’s 11 Japanese Chin, including the top-winning Chin of all time, GCH CH Pem We-Syng Lucky Mi, and GCH CH Victory Spencer, who got off to a terrific start this year with two RBIS, three Group Ones and a Group Two at the huge Palm Springs shows.
Virtually every serious dog person in the hall will be at Charlotte Patterson’s ring at 11:00 AM on Monday to see her go over her 19 Standard Poodles. For two years, fanciers have followed the black dog, GCH CH Jaset’s Satisfaction, and the white bitch, GCH CH Brighton Lakeridge Encore, as they scaled the rankings and gathered impressive win after win. Last year’s meeting in a cramped ring that would not allow the two to show their full potential ended with neither winning the breed. Again, this year’s bigger rings should provide the perfect showcase for these two beautiful examples of the variety. I also would like to take in Joan Scott’s nine Bichons Frises. Always a crowd favorite, my favorites are GCH CH PaRay Power & Prestige, GCH CH Vogelflight’s “Honor” to Pillowtalk and GCH CH Saks Winning Card.
In the Herding Group, look for the offspring of the winningest Bearded Collie of all time, GCH CH Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins. Among Roy’s children who have been winning groups the past few months are GCH CH Dunhill Celebration and Spirit Woods Gandalph The Blue. While I don’t know if the Shetland Sheepdog, PaRay Preferential, who collected BACK2BACK BIS in Portland OR last month is entered, I would love to see him among Anne Bowes’ 14 entries, along with GCH CH Grandgables The Frat Boy and GCH CH Jesstar Nirvana.
So whether you are lucky enough to be on the piers or just enjoying the action online, check out some of the breed matchups, and don’t forget to look for my ringside commentary all day Monday and Tuesday, here on the Back Story.