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There's only one Westminster and everyone wants to be there

There’s only one Westminster, and the annual entry process for the Westminster Kennel Club’s Annual All Breed Dog Show has once again shown why.

Westminster’s total entry of 2,632 for its 131st annual event February 12-13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City once again took less than an hour to fill. That entry comes from 48 different states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and five foreign countries (It should be noted that because of certain requirements in the entry process, 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).

Leading the way with the most entries are California (283) and New York (253).
The top seven states in entries are the same as last year, with Pennsylvania (198), New Jersey (179), Florida (135), Texas (132), Connecticut (120), Massachusetts (102), Virginia (84) and Ohio (78) rounding out the top ten.

As in recent years, the entry limit of 2,500 dogs was reached quickly after entries opened on December 8. The final total entry of 2,632 includes 132 dogs entered in Junior Showmanship.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have the highest entry with 50, while Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have 43 entries. Havanese, French Bulldogs and Labrador Retrievers each have 38 entries, Golden Retrievers and Chinese Cresteds 37. There are 81 total Dachshunds entered in the three Varieties, which compete separately.

All 165 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club will be represented at the show, to be held at Madison Square Garden. There are no new breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club for competition in 2007. There are also 132 entries in Junior Showmanship, where young handlers age 9-18 compete based only on their handling abilities.

Dr. Robert Indeglia of Providence, RI will judge Best In Show, heading a judging panel of 34 judges from 14 states, Canada and England.

The breed judging schedule will be posted on when finalized. Breeds and Varieties in the Working, Terriers, Toy, and Non Sporting Groups will be benched and judged during the day on Monday, with Group competition that evening. On Tuesday, breeds and varieties in the Sporting, Hound and Herding Groups will be benched and judged, with judging of those Groups and Best In Show to be held Tuesday evening.

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.

The Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster's influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all breed, benched dog show held every year at New York's Madison Square Garden. The show is America’s second longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby.

Westminster - Facts and Figures

The first telecast of Westminster came in 1948, three years before “I Love Lucy” came on the air.

In 2005, streaming video with same day coverage of breed judging highlights was made available for the first time on the Westminster web site. It was an immediate and huge hit. In 2006, a threefold increase in total video specific data streamed produced a staggering number: 23.7 terabytes (a terabyte is 1,024 gigabytes). According to Wikipedia, all the books of the entire U.S. Library of Congress would take up 20 terabytes.

Westminster’s first sellout of Madison Square Garden for the show came in 2005 and it happened again in 2006.

A portion of the proceeds from Westminster’s first show in 1877 was donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to establish a home for stray and disabled animals.

The Empire State Building first honored Westminster by lighting its tower in the Westminster colors of purple and gold in 2004 and will do so again in 2007.

There have been a total of 288,996 dogs entered in Westminster’s 130 shows through to 2006.
Through to the 2006 show, there have been 1,644 judges who have officiated at least once, some as many as 22 times, at Westminster.

Only one time has the offspring of a Best In Show winner duplicated the feat. In 2000, the English Springer Spaniel Ch. Salilyn N’ Erin’s Shameless repeated the 1993 BIS accomplishment of her sire, Ch. Salilyn’s Condor.

Two Best In Show winners, Norwich Terriers, had the same sire: 1994’s Ch. Chidley’s Willum the Conqueror and 1998’s Ch. Fairewood Frolic were offspring (half brother/sister) of Ch. Royal Rock Don of Chidley

The Papillon, Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being (“Kirby”), is the only dog to capture Best In Show at the World Dog Show (1998 in Helsinki) and Best In Show at Westminster (1999).

“Kirby” was the oldest dog to capture Best In Show at 8 years, 1 month and 10 days of age in 1999. His record still stands. The youngest winner was the Rough Collie, Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven, who captured the award in 1929 at the age of exactly 9 months.

Two dogs have won Best In Show at both Westminster and Crufts in Birmingham, England, each of them winning at the English show before coming to the America: the Lakeland Terrier, Ch. Stingray of Derryabah (Crufts 1967, WKC 1968) and the Kerry Blue Terrier, Ch. Torums Scarf Michael (Crufts 2000, WKC 2003).

Westminster was established in 1877, pre-dating the founding of the governing body of the sport, the American Kennel Club, which was established in 1884.

In 1884, The Westminster Kennel Club became the first member of the American Kennel Club.
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