Westminster Kennel Club

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Westminster Kennel Club

by Chris Suckow

The Westminster Kennel Club is the most popular dog show in the world. It is synonymous with purebred dogs; just say the name Westminster, and people will know what you are talking about.

It seems that even at very first Westminster Kennel Club there was great success. The very first show was in 1877, with over one thousand dogs entered into the competition. More people showed up than expected, numbering into the tens of thousands. Since that time it has grown in prestige and elegance. Over the years many famous people have entered their dogs in the competition to compete right alongside regular people?s dogs for the coveted prizes.

It is the second longest continuously running sporting event in the United States. Only the Kentucky Derby has been around longer. Each year it is held in Madison Square Garden in New York.

Another interesting fact is that the only dog to win the best in show three times was a Smooth Fox Terrier bitch named Ch. Warren Remedy, and six other dogs have won the show twice.

There are 162 different breed categories to compete in and the top dogs of each breed compete for the overall championship called the best of show.

Westminster got its name from a bar in Manhattan that is no longer around. It was at this bar that men gathered to talk about hunting dogs and their accomplishments. It was out of these meetings that it was decided to start a dog show.

One of the greatest influences the Westminster dog show has had on the nation is the focus on purebreds. People are more aware of purebred dogs, and the characteristics that each breed should have.

More than anything else, the Westminster Kennel Club symbolizes the human animal bond felt by millions of people as they tune in each year to see who wins best of show.

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