SHARE
Advertisement

By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK (Reuters)

A borzoi, pug, bichon frise and border collie won Monday’s group competitions at the 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and will vie for the contest’s top prize

This year’s two-day event in New York City draws challengers from all 50 U.S. states and 16 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Australia and China, the Westminster Kennel Club said in a statement.

 

Lucy, a Borzoi walks with her handler after winning best in Hound group during judging at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York
Lucy, a Borzoi walks with her handler after winning best in Hound group during judging at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

 

More than 2,880 dogs from 201 breeds and varieties were set to compete, according to organizers of the United States’ second-oldest sporting event.

Individual breeds are judged during the day on Monday and Tuesday, with the winners of each moving on to the group competitions at night. Dogs are divided into seven groups – hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, working, sporting and terrier.

 

Leo, an Afghan hound breed, is groomed in the benching area on Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 142nd Annual Dog Show in New York
Leo, an Afghan hound breed, is groomed in the benching area on Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 142nd Annual Dog Show in New York, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

 

The dogs crowned champion of each of the seven groups then compete for the Best in Show trophy on Tuesday.

Lucy, a borzoi, won the hound group competition on Monday, the fifth borzoi to win in the contest since 1930, according to Westminster Kennel Club data.

 

Henry, a Pomeranian breed, is groomed in the benching area on Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 142nd Annual Dog Show in New York
Henry, a Pomeranian breed, is groomed in the benching area on Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 142nd Annual Dog Show in New York, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

 

“She’s just amazing,” said Valerie Munes-Atkinson, Lucy’s handler from California. “She’s always stepped up to the plate and given me 110 percent every single time. Whether it’s freezing, whether it’s 100 degrees out, she just goes.”

 

Flynn, a bichon frise walks during judging of the nonsporting group at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York
Flynn, a bichon frise walks during judging of the nonsporting group at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

 

Bill McFadden, the handler of Flynn, who won the nonsporting group contest, said the bichon frise enjoys competing in dog shows and has come to Westminster three times.

“The crowd is so awesome, so loud and so crazy,” McFadden said of New York’s Madison Square Garden arena where the show takes place. “There’s a lot of noise and excitement. The best thing you can do is just hope your dog feeds off it.”

 

Handlers wait to enter the competition ring during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 142nd Annual Dog Show in New York
Handlers wait to enter the competition ring during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 142nd Annual Dog Show in New York, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

 

McFadden, who lives in California, added that the arena’s ring is “difficult.”

“The grass is a little pokey on their feet,” he said.

Biggie, a pug, and Slick, a border collie, won the toy and herding contests, respectively.

 

 

Dogs from the sporting, working and terrier groups will compete on Tuesday night, with the three victors joining Monday’s finalists in the competition for top prize.

Rumor, a female German shepherd, was named Best in Show at last year’s competition.

 

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

 

A dog competes in the Masters Agility Championship during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
A dog competes in the Masters Agility Championship. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

 

A dog competes in the Masters Agility Championship during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
A dog competes in the Masters Agility Championship. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

 

Pop Pop to the Top, a Japanese Spaniel breed, is dried off at a dog spa at the Hotel Pennsylvania ahead of the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in midtown Manhattan, New York City
Pop Pop to the Top, a Japanese spaniel, is dried off at a dog spa at the Hotel Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

 

Keep reading (more images ahead) …

 

Advertisements