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TRADITION

New York's Piers 92/94

After leaving the 136th Westminster Kennel Club show and New York behind I begin sorting through the moments which caught my attention. Several things stick with me for the dog show scrapbook in my head.

I had expected some inconvenience due to the re-modeling of the Garden and there were lots of minor irritations, but nothing that bothered this writer. However, the real impact was the reduced entry of 2000 dogs, down from the 2500 last year. For several weeks prior I had heard the mournful refrain “I didn’t get in!” Many of the dogs I had hoped to see were absent & many of the people I had hoped to meet were missing. In the end only 1645 dogs showed up to compete.

The 20 percent reduction had a domino effect, reducing entries at several of the preliminaries, including the Garden State All Terrier Club at the Meadowlands in Secaucus NJ which drew less than 100 dogs. However, the all Toy show hosted by the Progressive Dog Club at the Hotel Pennsylvania across the street from Madison Square Garden drew a very respectable 430 dogs. Hopefully, increasing the entry by 60 percent next year will result in a corresponding increase in all of the warm ups.

One of the reasons I was drawn into the dog fancy was its respect for tradition. My initial reaction to the relocation of the breed judging to Piers 92/94 was not favorable. One of the things I find most attractive in the dog fancy is the respect for tradition. On one hand, the idea of leaving the Garden behind was like telling me that we were going to spend Christmas in Hawaii. On the other hand, I look forward to the return of class dog competition and a venue that will coddle both spectators and exhibitors. Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I find that you can still respect tradition, and accept changes for the better. I will certainly still look forward to Westminster every year no matter where they hold it. And that’s today’s Back Story.

Click here for our entire coverage.

Click here to relive the excitement of Westminster in photo galleries.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.
Comments
  • Rick Eichhorn February 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Billy, the Garden increasingly has become less and less of a favorite for many, while the Eukanuba finals grow in popularity, and deservedly so. Many of us join the chorus of disappointed would-be canine entrants who were refused for the first time ever. Seeing the grand numbers in some breeds, it does call into question the fairness of the WKC’s alleged lottery system.

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