I, like many of my readers, love to play Monday Morning Quarterback, reviewing the past week’s shows and gleaning every ring for evidence of things to come. No venue contains more impressive dogs per square foot than does the Westminster Kennel Club show. Here are several of the dogs that caught my eye at Westminster this year. One proviso: I did not get to every ring, nor do I have room here for an exhaustive list of all the beautiful dogs I did see. I apologize in advance if I failed to include your favorite dog.
I was delighted to see the Clumber Spaniel, GCH CH Clussexx Collaboration with Traddles, finish in the ribbons with three of the most celebrated Sporting Dogs of recent years. The Colombian import has already gathered one BIS and 13 Sporting Groups this year. Although she failed to make the cut in the Sporting Group, I couldn’t help but notice the Pointer, CH Seasyde Fashion Avenue, daughter of CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, until recently the top-winning Sporting Dog of all time. The family resemblance was quite evident.
I was also pleased to see a scent hound, the Basset Hound, GCH CH Topsfield-Sanchu Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, finish second in the Hound Group. We don’t often see a Basset Hound among the top winners, but Tiger demands your attention. So far this year he has logged one BIS, one RBIS and seven Hound Groups.
The Working Dog I am most impressed with is the Westminster Group winner, the Portuguese Water Dog, GCH CH Clairecreek Impression de Matisse. Matisse came roaring into the Garden after back2back BIS in Indianapolis the week before. His 2013 record stands at three BIS, one RBIS and 10 Working Groups. However, I found my eye kept going to the golden Tibetan Mastiff, GCH CH Sierras’Sasha-Yakone Nanuk. I confess a partiality for the breed, but it takes an impressive specimen to get my attention. Not yet 2 years old, this son of the great GCH CH Seng Khri Bartok Of Dawa, was very imposing.
The Terrier Group was full of well-known talent, but a relative newcomer was the one who charmed me. The Welsh Terrier, GCH CH Shaireab Bayleigh Maid of Honor. Jennie and handler Luiz Abreu have two BIS in six final appearances this year.
In the Papillon breed it is all about the ears and GCH CH Involvo The King of Pop has beautiful ears. Jackson made the cut at Westminster in a very tough Toy Group. So far this year he has collected two RBIS and two Toy Groups.
I have written about the Standard Poodle, CH Del Zarzoso Salvame From Afterglow, earlier, so I won’t use this space to reiterate his accomplishments. I will just say he was the most impressive non-breed winner I saw at Westminster. Instead I will point to a breed largely overlooked, the Tibetan Spaniel. GCH CH Kan Sing’s Tenzin copped a Group Four. Tenzin had a strong finish to 2012 and has five Non-Sporting groups this year.
While the Old English Sheepdog, Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect, got all the attention in the Herding Group, I couldn’t help but watch the Bearded Collie, GCH CH Dunhill Celebration, the BIS-winning daughter of the top Beardie of all time, GCH CH Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins. Olivia is off to a great start in 2013 with one BIS in four final appearances.
Our next big test will be the Kentuckiana Cluster in Louisville in mid-March. We will see how long these dogs can ride the Westminster Wave. And that’s today’s Back Story.
(All photos courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club.)