GCH CH Casablanca's Thrilling Seduction (Photo by Jeffrey Hanlin)

GCH CH Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction
(Photo by Jeffrey Hanlin)

In my most recent Back Story post, I introduced you to the BIS and Group judging slate from this year’s Westminster Kennel Club show. Today I am going out on a limb and predicting who their top choices will be. All my readers are forewarned, like all of my ramblings, this information is for entertainment purposes only. I have no inside information. As a matter of fact, I’m not certain every one of these dogs will be present. But enough, of the weaseling, here’s who I think you will see in Michael Dougherty’s final ring on February 12th.

This past year saw one of the most exciting rivalries I have witnessed in dogs. 2012’s Number One Dog All Breeds, the German Wirehaired Pointer, GCH CH Mt View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm, and the Number Two Dog, the English Springer Spaniel, GCH CH Wynmoor Champagne Supernova, treated fanciers to a thrilling run to the finish that was not decided until the last weekend of the year. However, I will be looking for 2011’s Number One Dog, the Black Cocker Spaniel, GCH CH Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction, to be Karen Wilson’s Group winner.

Our Hound Group was hotly contested this year as well with the American Foxhound, GCH CH Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box, claiming the all-breed point lead and the Harrier, GCH CH Downhome Hitech Innovator, posting 18 more Hound Group wins than the Foxhound. The Foxhound, Jewel, ended 2012 with a BIS and has already posted five BIS this year. I think she will be Luc Boileau’s choice on Monday night.

Doberman breeder Robert Vandiver has the Working Group, and I look for him to give 2012’s Number One Working Dog, the Doberman Pinscher, GCH CH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, her second consecutive Westminster Group One. FiFi posted BACK2BACK BIS at the prestigious Golden Gate Kennel Club shows in San Francisco last weekend and will be heading to New York with lots of momentum.

GCH CH AfterAll Painting The Sky (Photo by Infocusbymiguel)

GCH CH AfterAll Painting The Sky
(Photo by Infocusbymiguel)

2012 AKC/Eukanuba National Champion (AENC), the Wire Fox Terrier, GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky, is currently the Number One Dog in the US. Sky has literally been unbeatable in the Terrier Group this year, going 14 for 14 so far. Although Westminster is known for its upsets, I see no reason why judge Jay Richardson won’t agree with those 14 judges.

The Affenpinscher, GCH CH Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, dominated the Toy Group in 2012 despite a valiant effort by the Miniature Pinscher, GCH CH Marlex Classic Red Glare. However, the MinPin, Classie, has been burning up the Florida circuit this month, collecting four of the BIS and 10 of the Toy Groups during the 12-day marathon. She added another big BIS and Toy Group to the tally just yesterday in Atlanta at the Griffin Georgia Kennel Club show. I think judge Dennis McCoy will go with the MinPin as well.

Last year’s Non-Sporting Group had neither of 2011’s Top Two Standard Poodles, GCH CH Brighton Lakeridge Encore, nor GCH CH Jaset’s Satisfaction. I am hoping that the larger breed rings will better showcase the white bitch, Ally, and the black dog, London. I feel that the one that makes it out of the breed will be the dog that Florence Males sends forward. Ally has had an impressive start to the year with two big BIS in Puyallup WA earlier this month and strong Group wins in Palms Springs and Portland. I give her the edge over the 2011 AENC, London.

Last year’s Westminster Herding Group winner, the German Shepherd Dog, GCH CH Babheim’s Captain Crunch, was 2012’s Number One Herding Dog. However, owner/handler Jimmy Moses is judging the breed this year and Capi is ineligible to compete. Capi’s absence will leave the Herding Group without a clear favorite. I’m throwing my lot in with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, GCH CH Coventry Allure at Wyndstar. Allie was 2012’s Number Five Herding dog with six BIS and 45 Herding Groups to her credit. So far this year she has one RBIS and six Groups logged.

Nothing is fraught with as many pitfalls as a Westminster BIS prediction. My track record has been no better than 50/50. However, I think judge Michael Dougherty will smile on the winningest Sporting Dog of all time, the Black Cocker Spaniel, Beckham. Beckham has collected many accolades, including four consecutive American Spaniel Club titles, but lacks that Westminster trophy.  Look for the Wire Fox, Sky, to bring home the first ever Reserve trophy from Westminster.

Best In Show Daily will be featuring all sorts of articles about America’s premier dog show. Check back with us frequently between now and February 11th. Don’t forget to join me and my BISD colleagues for our joint Dog Show Poop/Best In Show Daily Garden Party during the Monday and Tuesday night broadcasts. Links to the party room will be provided on both sites. And that’s today’s Back Story.