Next week on Monday and Tuesday, February 14th and 15th, New York City will host the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
Dog lovers from around the globe look forward to this NYC event. Even The Empire State Building will be lit in purple and gold in honor of this prestigious show. As we have for many years, the Animal Medical Center (AMC) will have a big contingent at the dog show. Besides those of us staffing an AMC booth in the vendor arena, many of us will be attending just for fun, while others will play an important role in the show. I thought I would give you a behind the scenes look at some of the unusual ways the AMC community participates.
Ed Hershey, a member of the AMC Board of Trustees is one of the 48 members of the WKC, a club Governor and a member of the Dog Show Committee. He told me why the WKC Show is considered the pinnacle of dog shows. “The WKC show is prestigious since it is one of America’s oldest sporting events, second only to the Kentucky Derby. Another unique feature of the show is the competitors. They are all champions, since being a champion is a requirement for entry.”
Janet York, also a member of the AMC’s Board of Trustees, will be showing three of her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at the WKC Show, including Grand Champion Mondrian, in his fourth WKC show. He has won the breed twice and will be retiring after the show. Champions Bozi and Penny are youngsters. In May 2010, the American Kennel Club formally recognized the designation Grand Champion. I asked Ms. York what the difference between Grand Champion and Champion is. She explained a Grand Champion is made when a Champion competes against and wins over other Champions, accumulating enough points to become a Grand Champion. See all 31 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at 8:00 AM Monday morning in Ring 6.
Iris Love, a third member of The AMC’s Board of Trustees, co-owns a Pekingese named Malachy, a gifted show dog ranked #1 or #2 among all purebred dogs in the USA. By his name, I would have guessed Malachy to be a Scottish terrier. According to Ms. Love, Malachy is from a Scottish line of Pekingese, descended from Queen Victoria’s dogs who themselves originally came from the Chinese emperor. Meet Malachy in his first WKC appearance along with seven other champion Pekingese in Ring 1, Monday at 11:45 AM.
The Animal Medical Center thanks the WKC for generously donating the proceeds from the sale of this year’s poster to the AMC’s Veterinary Postgraduate Education Fund. Please stop by the WKC booth and get yours to support advanced veterinary training.
If you can’t be at Madison Square Garden to see all the wonderful dogs and stop by the AMC booth in the benching area, make sure you watch the show live on USA Network and CNBC.