The day is finally here, the opening day of the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club show! It’s the first time since 1991 that class dogs will compete for the top prize in dogdom. It’s the first time ever that the judging will be accomplished in a split venue format with the daytime breed judging taking place at Piers 92 & 94, at 55th Street and the West Side Highway in New York and the nighttime group and BIS judging taking place at Madison Square Garden.

Billy's Schedule Monday

The Best In Show Daily crew will be all over both sites bringing you the most up-to-date information. I will be your personal guide at some of the most competitive breed rings. Check my schedule above to see where I will be, and drop by and let me know what you think about the new venue and format.


A Tense Owner Carolyn Koch watches her Pug, JJ, go Best of Breed.

This morning, I am starting at Ring One with judge Anne Bowes and 34 Pugs. Judge Bowes has several BIS winners to choose from, and I think whomever she chooses will be a contender for tonight’s Toy Group. I sat next to Carolyn Koch, owner of judge Bowes’ eventual breed winner, GCH CH Hill Country Tag I’m It. She tells me that “JJ” and handler Barry Clothier will be out all year. I hope you get to see this sturdy little dog.

Judge Charlotte Patterson with her Miniature Poodle breed winner, GCH CH Surrey Sugar Baby.

Judge Charlotte Patterson with her Miniature Poodle breed winner, GCH CH Surrey Sugar Baby.

My next stop is Charlotte Patterson’s Poodle ring where she is doing seven Miniatures, 10 Toys and 19 Standards. Judge Patterson set the tone for the doing with an elegant pair of strappy high heels. We all knew we were in for a stylish time. First up were her Miniatures, all black, save one white dog. Breed went to the multi-BIS winner, GCH CH Surrey Sugar Baby.

Judge Patterson’s Toy Poodles were also all black and white, and in the end, it came down to two, the multi-BIS GCH CH Smash Jp Sakura and a lesser-known dog from Texas, GCH Donnchada Angel Wings At Dulcinea. Westminster is known for its upsets and we can count the win by the beautifully refined Texan as such.

But the main event was the Standard Poodle judging. The ring was chockablock full of BIS-winning, top-ranked dogs including the two variety leaders for the past two years, GCH CH Jaset’s Satisfaction and GCH CH Brighton Lakeridge Encore. Today the breed belonged to the latter.