Westminster Dog Show

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The Winners So Far at the Westminster Dog Show

by Joe Jackson (Subscribe to Joe Jackson’s posts)
Feb 14th 2011 @ 11:45PM Filed Under: Dogs, Pets News

chinese shar-peiJayne, a Chinese shar-pei, won the non-sporting group. Credit: Mary Altaffer, AP

The 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is underway at Madison Square Garden in New York City — and plenty of doggie drama has already unfolded on the green carpet.

After the first day of heated competition, four of the seven competitors in Tuesday night’s Best in Show final are decided. A Scottish deerhound, Pekingese, Chinese shar-pei and bearded collie have been selected in their respective groups to compete for Best in Show.

The Westminster Dog Show is considered the most prestigious dog show in the nation. This year saw 2,626 champion entries, in 179 breeds and varieties, from 49 states and more than a dozen countries.

And though last year’s winner, Sadie — a Scottish terrier whose full name is Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot — was the clear favorite going into the 2010 event, this year, the field is wide open for a new Westminster champion.

The key action occurred this evening in the Best of Group rounds — with the first hour broadcast live on the USA Network and the remaining two hours appearing on CNBC. (The rest of the Westminster telecast will appear Tuesday on the USA Network beginning at 8 p.m. ET.)

Monday’s Big Winners
Here are the dogs that took the honors in the group competitions tonight:

The Hounds – There was little surprise when judge Robert Indeglia gave the prized Hound Group ribbon, fought over by the 28 breeds represented, to the Scottish deerhound, Hickory — full name Gch. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind — who lives on a farm in Virginia.

Earlier today, last year’s group winner, the whippet Ch. Starline’s Chanel, suffered a surprise loss of her Best of Breed title to Ch. Snowcap’s Patent Leather — failing to receive even an Award of Merit.

Pekingese dog pictureThe handler for Pekingese Palacegarden Malachy shows his excitement after the dog won the toy group. Credit: Mary Altaffer, AP

The Toy Group – Two hotly tipped toy breeds went tail to tail in their Best of Group competition. Pekingese Malachy — full name Gch. Palacegarden Malachy — fancied as a Best in Show favorite by Las Vegas bookmaking pro Johnny Avello at 7-1, repaid Avello’s faith by beating last year’s group victor and crowd favorite, toy poodle Smash.

The Non-Sporting Group – The Best of Group ribbon went to the Chinese shar-pei Jayne — full name Gch. Vaje’s Miss Jayne Hathaway — one of 20 breeds to compete.

The Herding Group – The bearded collie Mr. Baggins — full name Gch. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins — claimed the competitive Herding Group title after going up against champion shepherds, collies, corgis and a variety of other herding breeds.

The Rest of Day One
It was a day for new blood, with six breeds appearing at Westminster for the first time.

Rufus, a 14-month-old Redbone coonhound from Kentucky, won Best in Breed. Meanwhile, Ch. Black Knights Balu Power became the first bluetick coonhound to claim that Best in Breed title.

bearded collie pictureMister Baggins, a bearded collie, won the herding dog group. Credit: Mary Altaffer, AP

Madison Square Garden was around half full with enthusiastic fans by the climax of the opening day. The seven-time Tour de France-winning cyclist Lance Armstrong and TV personality Rachel Ray were among the high-profile guests in attendance.

What’s Up for Tuesday
Dozens of breeds in the remaining groups — Terrier, Sporting and Working — compete to take the last three places at tomorrow night’s Best in Show competition, when Madison Square Garden will be packed with competitors and fans alike.

This second day of action will include the much-anticipated battle of the smooth fox terriers at 12:15 p.m. ET.

A terrier has won Best in Show at Westminster 45 times, and ahead of this year’s competition pundits were expecting more of the same.

Two smooth fox terriers in particular are leading the pack. Adam, whose full name is Gch. J’Cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, will dual with fellow favorite Dodger, called Gch. Slyfox Sneaks a Peek, for Best in Breed. The winner will then be the favorite to take the Terrier Group ribbon later in the evening.

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