The 137th Westminster Kennel Club show is now in the record books, and many will remember the show for its dramatic finish with a dog from the classes taking the first ever Westminster Reserve Best In Show. Not since 1991 had class dogs been allowed to compete at WKC. Not since 1939 has a class dog gone Best In Show. Many had expected the class dogs would act as spoilers in many breeds. While there were some notable exceptions, for the most part, the class dog in each breed watched its more experienced brethren pick up the purple and gold ribbon.
Of the 175 breeds competing, a class dog took the top prize in only eight. They were the Irish Wolfhound, Kerryarc Favorite Sin, the Treeing Walker Coonhound, Stackem Up My Way Or Highway, the Siberian Husky, Highlander’s Rumour Has It, the Boston Terrier, Katbird’s Evolution Matters At Kayas, the Lowchen, Paceaway Play It Again, the Finnish Lapphund, Hammarhojdens Ultra, the Bouvier des Flandres, Barbu Jenarae Ruffian, and the Old English Sheepdog, Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect. It was the Old English Sheepdog that made the big splash, capturing the RBIS.
However, Swagger was not such a surprise pick. The 20-month-old picked up his first BIS back in October at the Buckthorn Kennel Club show in Colorado. It was to be expected, considering that parents are the multiple BIS winners, CH Bugaboo Bog Shot and CH Bugaboo’s Georgie Girl. Mom was the breed winner at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club show, and Dad was the BISS at the 2011 National Specialty of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America. Swagger was handled by breeder/owner Colton Johnson.
Another fresh face among the seven finalists was the Portuguese Water Dog, GCH CH Claircreek Impression De Matisse. Matisse did not join the 2012 campaign until October, but still managed to pick up one BIS and six Working Groups before the end of the year. He and handler Michael Scott spent last Thursday and Friday in Indianapolis collecting back2back BIS before heading to New York.
The evening’s ringer was the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH CH Slyfox Sneaks A Peek, who handed the Number One Dog in the US, the Wire Fox Terrier, GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky, her first loss in 19 Terrier Groups this year. Adam and handler Eddie Boyes had won the Terrier Group at Westminster in 2011.
By every measure, this year’s Westminster Kennel Club show was one of the most successful in recent years. And that’s today’s Back Story