For the first time in more than a century, the breed judging at Westminster Kennel Club was held at a location other than Madison Square Garden, and all reports confirm that Monday’s judging went well at Piers 92/94 on Manhattan’s west side. But it was back to the Garden for the Group judging on Monday evening, with the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups.
The Hound Group
The evening began with the Hound Group, judged by Luc Boileau, who handled the 1990 Westminster Best in Show winner, Pekingese Ch. Wendessa Crown Prince, which was owned by Ed Jenner and selected by Frank Sabella.
After examining his 30 Best of Breed winners judge Boileau cut seven dogs: Afghan Hound GCh. Exlysta Aries Ciel Noir, American Foxhound GCh. Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box, Basset Hound GCh. Topsfield-Sanchu Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, Bluetick Coonhound GCh. Charwin Fairmont Sweet Society Blue Snuff, Harrier GCh. Downhome HiTech Innovator, Otterhound GCh. Aberdeens Under the Influence and Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen GCh. Soletrader Maggie May.
Afghan Hound ‘Ryder’ just began his specials career in December 2012. He was bred by Perry Rooks and Christine Anderson-Smith, who own him with Sharon Ferraro and his handler, Phil Schafmayer. Judge Jerry Klein sent him to the Group from an entry of 25, including 20 specials. Afghans have won the Group here 12 times.
American Foxhound ‘Jewel’ is no stranger to Best in Show Daily. The 2012 Number 1 Hound, she is breeder/owner-handled by Lisa Miller, co-bred by Harry Miller and co-owned by Ellen Charles… who as you’ll see is no stranger to the winners’ circle at Westminster! Jewel’s half-brother, Ch. Kiarry’s Black in the Saddle, was Best of Opposite to her in the breed under judge Jeff Pepper. Only one American Foxhound has ever won the Group at Westminster, when Newbold Ely’s Gloria did so in 1944.
Basset Hound ‘Tiger’ was a top Hound last year as well, holding the Number 7 spot at the end of the year. Handled by Bryan Martin for breeder/owners Claudia Orlandi and Claire Steidel, Tiger is just one of numerous Topsfield-Sanchu Bassets who’ve appeared on the green carpet at the Garden, always handled by Bryan, who has had an unparalleled career with this breed. However, only three Bassets have ever won the Group at the Garden: Ch. Moonbeam’s Astronomer in 2000, Ch. Lil’ Creek Briarcrest Top Gun in 1992 and Ch. The Ring’s Banshee in 1960.
Bluetick ‘Snuffy’ is the first and only of her breed ever to win a Best in Show at an AKC event, which she did twice in 2012. She was also the BOB winner in New York City last year. She is bred by Katherine and Nicholas Chappell, owned by Charles Woods and TenaKastner and handled by Shawn Von Pressentin.
Another 2012 top Hound, this time Number 2, Harrier ‘Chet’ is handled by Susie Olivera for owner Joe Sanchez, and was bred by Susan Lowder, and Ken and Miriam Neil. He is the son of the top-winning Harrier of all-time Ch. Downhome Family Tradition, although Chet will no doubt best his sire’s record, if he hasn’t already.
Otterhound ‘Dui’ is bred and owned by Jack, Andy and Jason McIlwaine, and handled by Jason. He was also the BOB winner last year, is a multiple Group winner and was last year’s Number 1 in his breed.
English import PBGV ‘Maggie’ was bred by Gavin Robertson and Paul Sparks, is owned by Donna Moore and handled by Janice Hayes. Her sire, Eng. Ch. Soletrader Dunc N Disorderly, is also the sire of the top Group-winning PBGV of all time in the U.K., Ch. Soletrader My Aphrodisiac, also known as ‘Dizzy.’ Dizzy has a daughter who is quite famous in the U.K., Eng. Ch. Soletrader Peek A Boo, the 2012 Top Dog among all breeds in England, Top Hound in 2011 and Reserve BIS at Crufts in 2011.
When all was said and done, Jewel became only the second American Foxhound ever to take home a blue ribbon from the Group judging at Westminster. Second went to Tiger, the Basset, third to Maggie May and fourth to Dui the Otterhound.
The Toy Group
Judge Dennis McCoy is arguably as comfortable on the green carpet at the Garden as anyone has ever been. He has won seven Groups here, six Non-Sporting Groups and one Toy Group, and was Best in Show with Ch. Whisperwind On A Carousel, the white Standard Poodle, in 1991.
Four of last year’s Top 10 Toy dogs made Dennis’ cut after he examined and moved his 23 worthy breed winners. AffenpinscherGCh. Banana Joe v TaniKazari was Number 1 Toy, handled by Ernesto Lara for breeder/owner MiekeCooymans of the Netherlands and American owner Tina Truesdale. Min Pin GCh. Marlex Classic Red Glare was Number 2 Toy, owner-handled by Armando Angelbello, co-owned by Leah Monte and bred by Carole Mohr-Rio. Pomeranian GCh. CR Chase What Matters, bred by Robert and Celeste Solano, and handled by Noble Inglett for owner Margo Koga, was Number 8, and Pug GCh. Hill Country’s Tag I’m It, owned by Carolyn Koch, bred by Kristy and Kevin Ratliff, and handled by Barry Clothier, was Number 10.
Joining ‘Joey,’ ‘Classie,’ ‘Chase’ and ‘JJ’ in the cut were Cavalier King Charles Spaniel GCh. Bonitos Companeros Halli Galli, bred in Germany by Markus Kirschbaum who owns him with his handler, Ted Eubank, and Nicola Morrison and Klaus Vorderstrasse; Maltese Ch. Ta-Jon’s Pawsitively Pawparazzi, bred by Tammy and John Simon, owned by Tammy and Tim Lehman, and handled by Tim; PapillonGCh. Involo The King of Pop, bred by Donna, Michael and Gia Garofalo, owned by Gia and Madeline Mosing, and handled by Brian Livingston; and English import Pekingese GCh. Yakee Easily Persuaded, bred by Albert Easdon and owned by Sandra Middlebrooks and David Fitzpatrick, who handled him.
Ted Eubank, with his wife Mary Grace, has successfully owner-handled their Pinecrest Cavaliers in the past, although no dog of this breed has ever won the Group at the Garden.
Tammy Simon is well-known for her Ta-Jon Maltese, in particular thanks to ‘Silly,’ Ch. Ta-Jon’s Tickle Me Silly, the top-winning Maltese of all time and Number 1 Toy in 1997 and 1998, breeder/owner-handled by Tammy. Indeed, the sire of today’s Best of Breed winner, Ch. Ta-Jon’s Pawsitively Silly, is a Silly grandson. Tim Lehman has been a successful owner-handler himself, and this alliance has proven worthwhile. The last time a Maltese won the Group at the Garden was in 1992 when Ch. Sand Island Small Kraft Lite did so.
If Papillon ‘Jackson’ won the Group tonight, it would be the first time since 1999. That year Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being won his second Group here, and also was Best in Show. Jackson is one of three dogs Brian handled in the Groups this evening, with one also in the Non-Sporting and Herding Groups.
Had the Pekingese won tonight, it would have been the 26th time a Peke had done so at Westminster, and the fourth time for a Yakee Peke. Ch. Yakee If Only won in 2005 while Ch. Yakee Leaving Me Breathless at Franshaw won in both 2003 and 2004.
But Mr. McCoy made Joey, the 2012 Top Toy, his Group winner this year, and Classie the Min Pin was second place. Third went to Pomeranian Chase and fourth to JJ, the Pug. Only one Affenpinscher has ever won a Group at the Garden. In 2002 Beth Sweigart, for whom Ernesto was an assistant, handled Bill and Tina Truesdale’s Ch. Yarrow’s Super Nova to that win.
The Non-Sporting Group
Judge Florence Males, famous for her Weeblu Silky Terriers, judged Monday evening’s Non-Sporting Group. From 20 contenders, she made a cut of seven: the Standard Poodle, Bichon, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Frenchie and Tibetan Spaniel.
Standard Poodle GCh. Brighton Lakeridge Encore was bred by L’Dyne Brennan and Debra Ferguson-Jones, is owned by Toni and Martin Sosnoff, who live in Manhattan, and handled by Tim Brazier. ‘Ally’ has a pedigree full of Westminster winners; both her sire, Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto on Fifth, and her double-grandsire, Ch. Lake Cove That’s My Boy, won multiple Groups at the Garden. Her great-great grandsire is the aforementioned Westminster Best in Show winner, Ch. Whisperwind On A Carousel.
Bichon Frise ‘Honor,’ GCh. Vogelflight’s Honor To Pillowtalk, is a son of two Best in Show winners. Honor’s dam, Ch. Pillowtalk’s No Secrets, was the Number 9 among all Non-Sporting dogs in 2005 and won the National Specialty in 2006. Honor’s sire, Ch. PaRay’s I Told You So, was Number 1 Bichon in the U.S. in 2001 and 2002, and top Non-Sporting dog in 2002 before going to the U.K., where, under the guidance of Michael Coad, he became the top-winning Bichon in that country’s history, the 2004 Dog of the Year and a Group winner at Crufts. Honor was bred by the late Lori Kornfeld, Tracy Kornfeld, Mary Vogel and Kathie Vogel, is owned by Ellen Charles, M. and P. Abbott, Mary and Kathie Vogel, and Lori Kornfeld.
Bulldog GCh. Itsa Brix is bred and owned by Mary Grider, also owned by Telitha Blackwood, Bruno Freitas and Brook Brittain, and handled by Jay Serion. ‘Brix’’s pedigree traces back several times to the Bulldog that I think is among the greatest of all time – although admittedly I’m no authority! I’ve mentioned before in my Fancy That column that Ch.Hetherbull Bounty’s Frigate is an all-time favorite show dog of mine. He was owner-handled to Number 1 of all breeds in 1989 by Jean Hetherington. Brix pedigree also goes back to other great Bulldogs, including Ch. Cherokee Dakota Robert, winner of 43 Specialty Best in Shows and six all-breed Best in Shows…and a Frigate grandson.
Chow ChowGCh. Padow’s Twilight Embrey In a New Moon at Asans also made Ms. Males’ cut. He is bred, owned and handled by Kurt Williams and co-owned by Anita Sanders and Amy Young. This dog is a grandson of the multiple Best in Show and 2007 National Specialty winner Ch. Xishan’s Guardian Angel, who was bred and owned by Cynthia Lakowski and co-owned by Bruce Shane and Janet Burke.
Dalmatian ‘Ian,’ GCh. Spotlight’s Ruffian, was last year’s Group winner at Westminster. Handled by Michael Scott, he is owned by Jim and Barbara Lyons. Tibetan Spaniel GCh. Kan Sing’s Tenzin is bred and owned by Martha Feltenstein and handled by his co-breeder, Diego Garcia. His sire was BOB at the Garden in 2008 and 2009, and his dam in 2006 and 2007, so it runs in the family!
French Bulldog GCh. Bandog Bayou’s The Warrior is a grandson of the multiple BIS winner Ch. Bandog’s Jump For Joy, handled to a big career by Larry Cornelius, and a great-grandson of the BIS winner Ch. Bandog’s One In A Million. ‘Griffin’ is owned by Nancy Shaw, bred by Vickie Lang, and Patty and Luis Sosa, and handled by Larry.
When it was all over, Bichon Honor stood in first place, making owner Ellen Charles a two-time Group winner on this night. What a coup!Standard Poodle Ally was second, Frenchie Griffin, third, and Tibetan Spaniel Tenzin was fourth. Bichons have been Group First at Westminster five times, and Best in Show once, when Ch. Special Times Just Right took home the red, white and blue in 2001.
The Herding Group
Judge Chuck Trotter adjudicated the final Group of the evening. His examination of 26 Best of Breed winners resulted in a cut of eight dogs.
Bearded Collie GCh. Dunhill Celebration is handled by Cliff Steele for breeder/owners Ray Harrington and Carolyn O’Neil. ‘Olivia’ was co-bred by Kathy Harrington and is a daughter of the 2010 Number 1 Herding dog, also handled by Cliff, GCh. Tolkein Raintree Mister Baggins. Here’s an interesting fact for you: Ellen Charles also owned ‘Roy,’ and he was the Group winner at this show in 2011.
Border Collie GCh. Borderfame Signature, imported from Australia, was handled by Brian Livingston for owners Kyle Mosing and Debbie Butt. ‘Airely,’ bred by Helena Fitzgerald, was also the breed winner here in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He turned 8 years old in December 2012.
Canaan Dog GCh. Pleasant Hill Magnum of Samara has also represented his breed in the Group at Westminster before. In fact, this is the fourth year in a row that ‘Magnum’ has won the breed here. Handled by Tara Schultz for owner Pamela Stacey Rosman, he was bred by Donna Dodson.
Also making Mr. Trotter’s cut was America’s only Best in Show-winning Beauceron, GCh. Beowolf Rime Des Monts Du Lac. A French import, he was bred by Eric Vavassori, is owned by Paul and Joanne Prager, and handled by Michael Scott. He won 27 Group Firsts last year – no other Beauceron has even come close to his win record.
German Shepherd Ch. Jantars China Lake v Witmer HT was awarded Best of Breed today by “Mr. German Shepherd” Jimmy Moses, in his first appearance on the green carpet as a judge instead of a top-winning handler. ‘China’ was bred by Terry Crawford and Janis Crawford, and is owned by Elizabeth Ashdown, Donna Calabrese, Tina Bogdanich and Susan Witmer.She was Grand Victrix and Best of Breed at the 2007 Canadian National Specialty, handled by Leslie Dancosse.China was handled Monday evening by Olivia Calabrese, in what is reported to be her retirement show.
Puli GCh. Cordmaker Rumpus Bumpus has made frequent appearances on Best In Show Daily, as he as the Number 4 Herding dog last year. ‘Ziggy’ is owner-handled by Jackie Beaudoin, who owns him with his breeder, Sue Huebner, and Franco Licciardi.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi GCh. Llandians Champagne On Ice was handled by Joan Scottfor breeder/owner Dianne Connolly. ‘Bubbles’ also has a foreign connection: her sire, Aust. NZ Am. Ch. Aberlee Phantom Sequence, was bred by Gloria Woodward of Australia, where he was a Best in Show winner.
In what was perhaps the upset of the day, judge Jim Reynolds selected his Best of Breed winner in Old English Sheepdogs from the Bred-by-Exhibitor class. As it happens, however, Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect won his first major with an all-breed Best in Show. ‘Swagger’ is the son of the 2010 Number 2 Herding dog GCh. Bugaboo’s Georgie Girl, by Ch. Bugaboo’s Big Shot, who was Group Third at the Garden in 2012 and won the Canadian National in 2010, among other impressive awards. Monday’s star is bred and owned by Colton and Heather Johnson, like his mother, and also like her is handled by Colton.
And I suppose Mr. Trotter handed us the second upset for the day when he awarded Group First to Swagger, an OES who came from the Bred-by Exhibitor class. The only Old English to have won the Group at the Garden since the Herding Group split off from the Working Group in 1983 was Ch. Bugaboo’s Big Resolution, the winner in 2006 also handled by Colton. Prior to the split, however, seven OES won eight Groups, beginning in 1932 with Snowman, then Snowflake in 1934. Ch. Fezziwig Raggedy Andy won the Groups in 1966 and 1967, handled by Bob Forsyth.
And I suppose Mr. Trotter handed us the second upset for the day when he awarded Group First to Swagger, the OES.
Second in the Herding Group went to Ziggy the Puli, third to the Beauceron and fourth to Magnum, the Canaan Dog. It is nice to see those two breeds in the final four.
We’ll be back tomorrow to tell you the rest of the story…