Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Photo: westminsterkennelclub.org
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of the most popular and significant conformation shows in the United States. It is promoted and sanctioned by the American Kennel Club that was officially formed seven years after first show. The event is held every February at Madison Square Garden, a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City.

The inaugural edition of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was held on May 8, 1877 which makes it the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the US after the Kentucky Derby. The show was initiated by a group of hunters who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel in Manhattan. It was designed to showcase gun dogs, primarily pointers and setters. They created a kennel club specifically for the purpose of holding a god show, the club was named in honor of their meeting place.

After the American Kennel Club was founded in 1884, the Westminster Kennel Club became the first club admitted to the AKC. Today, the Westminster show is regarded as one of the most significant events of its kind in the United States. The entry is limited to 2,800 dogs due to space considerations at the venue.

The competition is divided into several stages: breed competition, group competition, and the final competition. The winner of the final competition is declared Best in Show. The winning dog becomes “America’s Dog” for the next year and participates in a media tour and other promotional events.

Alongside the main competition, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show holds a series of parallel competitions. Among the show’s highlights are Competition in Junior Showmanship inaugurated in 1934 and an agility event.

The rules of the show require that all dog participants be registered with the AKC and recognized for conformation show competition. Because of the show’s popularity and venue space limitations, all participants must have at least one major win towards their championship titles in order to appear at Westminster.

The show is usually held in February and takes place over two days and nights, Monday and Tuesday. Monday events are broadcast on CNBS and Tuesday events on USA Network.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show




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