Most people watch some sport on television during the year. Whether your sport is hockey or baseball, basketball or football, golf or ice skating, you may have been treated to coverage of poor sportsmanship, disappointment, drug testing results that dethroned your hero or post-win riots. So wouldn’t you like to watch a sport where the competitors aren’t socially and morally corrupt, where they go out in the ring to win but leave the ring as friends? Well guess what? dogs are man’s best friend after all. Dogs don’t go on strike, they don’t use drugs and they don’t plot against their competition. if you’re interested in seeing these canine good sports, you should watch the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, scheduled for February 11th-14th. It will be televised on National Geographic Wild, Fox Sports Live, Fox Sports and Fox Sports Go. There will be Agility, Obedience, Jr Showmanship and Conformation. You can also watch the breed competitions online at https://www.westminsterkennelclub.org
By the way, did you know that this is the second oldest continuous sporting event in the United Sates? The only older event is the Kentucky Derby, which will be held in May this year.
The Westminster show, one of the top dog shows in the United States, is held at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York. There is a great deal of prestige in winning Best of Breed (e.g., best Kerry BlueTerrier) or Best of Group (e.g. best of “Terriers”) at Westminster. The Best in Show dog from Westminster is seen all over the country in ads and public relations pieces. It is a double edged sword, however – when the Kerry Blue Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael (Mick) won “The Garden” in 2003 it presaged the beginning of a very hard time for rescue as puppy mills all over the country decided to breed and sell Kerry puppies. The Foundation was ready – or as ready as we could be – for this phenomenon, taking our lessons from the problems with Dalmations in the period following the release of the movie 101 Dalmations. As with Dalmations, we know that Kerries are not the dog for just anyone and that indiscriminant breeding leads to health problems, temperament problems. And puppy mills do not carefully screen the homes to which their dogs go. They live by the rule “You’ve got the money honey – we’ve got the dog for you!”
While we will not know who are all of the Kerries that will be shown at Westminster until the day of the show we do know which ones are the top five Kerries that received invitations and thus are guaranteed entries. They are :
GCH Cross The Rubicon Hexbreaker
GCH Kallehan's Hidden Asset
GCHB Clanciarrai Solitare
GCHB Dornick's Siena Toscana
GCHS Krisma's Xman First Class
The rest of the entry are dependent upon whose entry application got in first! The total entry is limited to 2,500 dogs and it depends upon how many of the invitees accepted from among those whose Fed Ex entry or Overnight Delivery was received first, but not before entries opened. Entries usually open and close within minutes! So it remains to be seen what dogs will be in the ring this year.
While we Kerry fanciers are not hoping for a repeat of Mick’s win at the Garden, we do look forward to seeing the beautiful entry of Kerries. Be sure to tune in! On Saturday and Sunday will be the Agility, Obedience and Jr Showmanship events, while Monday and Tuesday will be the conformation events with the Group and Best in Show events in the evenings. Go to http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/plan-your-visit/tv-schedule to see times and networks. Note that terrier events (breed judging and group judging) are held on Tuesday. Kerries are in the ring at 11:30am EST, if you want to check the WKC web site for online video of the breed judging.