It is, quite simply, the greatest tradition in the world of dogs. For the 133rd consecutive year, the Westminster Kennel Club will once again bring together the world's very best dogs in the world's greatest sporting arena to compete for the most coveted title in the sport: Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show.
It has happened every year since 1877, and once again, in 2009, some 2,522 dogs from 48 states, the District of Columbia and at least seven foreign countries will gather at America's Dog Show on February 9-10 at Madison Square Garden. Befitting its position as the oldest organization in America dedicated to the purebred dog, Westminster will extend its streak as America's second longest continuously held sporting event (behind only the Kentucky Derby).
Leading the way with the most entries are California (265) and New York (235). Rounding out the top ten states are Pennsylvania (180), New Jersey (160), Connecticut (123), Texas (117), Florida (111), Massachusetts (101), Maryland (97) and Virginia (89). Foreign entries came from Canada (74), England, Germany, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, and Mexico. However, many foreign bred dogs are entered from U.S. addresses, and in the final compilation there will be a number of additional foreign countries represented.
Labrador Retrievers have the highest entry with 47; other large entries include French Bulldogs 42, German Shorthaired Pointers 39, Golden Retrievers 37, Australian Shepherds 35, Bernese Mountain Dogs 35, Borzoi 34, Havanese 31 and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 30.
All of the 170 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club will be represented at the show. There are 15 Dogue de Bordeaux entries, the only new breed for 2009. The Dogue de Bordeaux competes in the Working Group.
The evening competition will be televised live each night at 8 PM (ET) on USA Network. Westminster, televised since 1948, is and always has been America's most widely-watched live telecast of a dog show. In addition, streaming video of the individual breed judging highlights is posted on the Westminster Web site for viewing within two hours of the completion of judging. In 2008, Web site visitors viewed 1.4 million streaming video clips and logged 11.4 million page views.
Breeds and varieties in the Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups will be benched and judged during the day on Monday, with Group competition that evening. On Tuesday, breeds and varieties in the Sporting, Working and Toy Groups will be benched and judged, with judging of those Groups and Best In Show to be held Tuesday evening.
The breed judging schedule will be posted on www.westminsterkennelclub.org when finalized.
Best In Show will be judged by Ms. Sari Brewster Tietjen of Rhinebeck, NY. She heads a panel of 38 judges from 17 states and Canada.
Group judges will be Mr. Robert Ennis of Angola, NY (Sporting); Mrs. Patricia V. Trotter of Carmel, CA (Hound); Mrs. Paula Nykiel of Washington, MO (Working); Mr. Peter Green of Bowmansville, PA (Terrier); Mr. Fred Bassett of Broken Arrow, OK (Toy); Mrs. Charlotte Patterson of Destin, FL (Non-Sporting); and Mr. Robert Slay of Cary, NC (Herding). Mr. Edmund Dziuk of Columbia, MO will judge the Junior Showmanship Finals. Entries for 2009
(subject to final audit): Sporting breeds (469)
: Brittanys 21, Pointers 19, Pointers (German Shorthaired) 39, Pointers (German Wirehaired) 6, Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay) 23, Retrievers (Curly-Coated) 15, Retrievers (Flat-Coated) 22, Retrievers (Golden) 37, Retrievers (Labrador) 47, Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling) 12, Setters (English) 16, Setters (Gordon) 11, Setters (Irish) 26, Spaniels (American Water) 3, Spaniels (Clumber) 12, Spaniels (Cocker) Black 10, Spaniels (Cocker) ASCOB 7, Spaniels (Cocker) Parti-Color 6, Spaniels (English Cocker) 10, Spaniels (English Springer) 27, Spaniels (Field) 6, Spaniels (Irish Water) 9, Spaniels (Sussex) 11, Spaniels (Welsh Springer) 8, Spinone Italiano 19, Vizslas 22, Weimaraners 17, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons 8. Hound breeds (356)
: Afghan Hounds 27, Basenjis 15, Basset Hounds 13, Beagles (13") 11, Beagles (15") 18, Black and Tan Coonhounds 7, Bloodhounds 15, Borzoi 34, Dachshunds (Longhaired) 18, Dachshunds (Smooth) 24, Dachshunds (Wirehaired) 21, Foxhounds (American) 9, Foxhounds (English) 2, Greyhounds 11, Harriers 2, Ibizan Hounds 11, Irish Wolfhounds 11, Norwegian Elkhounds 5, Otterhounds 5, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen 11, Pharaoh Hounds 11, Plotts 3, Rhodesian Ridgebacks 24, Salukis 19, Scottish Deerhounds 6, Whippets 23. Working breeds (407)
: Akitas 16, Alaskan Malamutes 15, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs 4, Bernese Mountain Dogs 35, Black Russian Terriers 15, Boxers 18, Bullmastiffs 25, Doberman Pinschers 18, Dogue de Bordeaux 15, German Pinschers 11, Giant Schnauzers 8, Great Danes 20, Great Pyrenees 13, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs 13, Komondorok 3, Kuvaszok 1, Mastiffs 28, Neapolitan Mastiffs 5, Newfoundlands 16, Portuguese Water Dogs 24, Rottweilers 29, St. Bernards 7, Samoyeds 27, Siberian Huskies 24, Standard Schnauzers 9, Tibetan Mastiffs 8. Terriers breeds (269)
: Airedale Terriers 9, American Staffordshire Terriers 16, Australian Terriers 9, Bedlington Terriers 10, Border Terriers 16, Bull Terriers (Colored) 1, Bull Terriers (White) 2, Cairn Terriers 15, Dandie Dinmont Terriers 3, Fox Terriers (Smooth) 11, Fox Terriers (Wire) 12, Glen of Imaal Terriers 5, Irish Terriers 8, Kerry Blue Terriers 13, Lakeland Terriers 5, Manchester Terriers (Standard) 7, Miniature Bull Terriers 7, Miniature Schnauzers 18, Norfolk Terriers 13, Norwich Terriers 17, Parson Russell Terriers 15, Scottish Terriers 9, Sealyham Terriers 4, Skye Terriers 6, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers 6, Staffordshire Bull Terriers 14, Welsh Terriers 5, West Highland White Terriers 13. Toy breeds (347)
: Affenpinschers 5, Brussels Griffons 13, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 30, Chihuahuas (Long Coat) 13, Chihuahuas (Smooth Coat) 16, Chinese Cresteds 26, English Toy Spaniels (Blenheim & Prince Charles) 3, English Toy Spaniels (King Charles & Ruby) 7, Havanese 31, Italian Greyhounds 18, Japanese Chins 15, Maltese
12, Manchester Terriers (Toy) 8, Miniature Pinschers 7, Papillons 28, Pekingese 12, Pomeranians 26, Poodles
(Toy) 7, Pugs 24, Shih Tzu
14, Silky Terriers 9, Toy Fox Terriers 8, Yorkshire Terriers 15. Non-Sporting breeds (281)
: American Eskimo Dogs 13, Bichon Frises 18, Boston Terriers 26, Bulldogs 14, Chinese Shar-Pei 14, Chow Chows 11, Dalmatians 16, Finnish Spitz 4, French Bulldogs 42, Keeshonden 11, Lhasa Apsos 9, Lowchen 8, Poodles (Miniature) 11, Poodles (Standard) 20, Schipperkes 14, Shiba Inu 15, Tibetan Spaniels 18, Tibetan Terriers 17. Herding breeds (274)
: Australian Cattle Dogs 7, Australian Shepherds 35, Bearded Collies 16, Beauceron 6, Belgian Malinois 17, Belgian Sheepdogs 17, Belgian Tervurens 9, Border Collies 14, Bouviers des Flandres 19, Briards 13, Canaan Dogs 5, Cardigan Welsh Corgis 20, Collies (Rough) 14, Collies (Smooth) 114, German Shepherd
Dogs 8, Old English Sheepdogs 17, Pembroke Welsh Corgis 11, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs 7, Pulik 7, Shetland Sheepdogs 14, Swedish Vallhund 7.