New York’s legendary Dog Fanciers Club commemorated its golden anniversary Feb. 13, 2008. Founded in 1958, the group has held monthly meetings at Broadway’s famous Sardi’s restaurant since 1972. Their premier event is the traditional post-Westminster luncheon where judges expound on their selections and the BIS winning dog enjoys a meal of steak.
This year’s event began with a tribute to former Westminster president Chester Collier, followed by the presentation of the DFC Anne Rogers Clark Memorial Award to AKC secretary James Crowley. Philanthropist, author, and dog lover Karen LeFrak was the recipient of the DFC Vincent Sardi Jr. Memorial Award.
After lunch, Westminster group judges Stanley Saltzman (Herding), Elliot Weiss (Sporting), Sari Tietjen (Toy), Betty-Anne Stenmark (Terrier), and Ralph Lemcke (Hound), shared their thoughts on how they arrived at one of the most exciting BIS lineups in Westminster’s history. BIS judge Dr. J.D. Jones emphasized the phenomenal quality of the seven group winners describing them as “far beyond what anyone would expect.”
The highlight of the afternoon was the arrival of the 2008 BIS winner, Ch. K-Run’s Park Me in First (15-inch). “Uno” is the only Beagle to win BIS in Westminster’s 132 year history. This unprecedented accomplishment has translated into a whirlwind of public appearances.
Earlier in the day, Uno was feted at the Metropolitan Dog Club’s post-Westminster BIS brunch across town at the elegant Cipriani Dolce restaurant. He was flanked by Dr. J.D. Jones and Westminster spokesman David Frei who provided a lively commentary on this exciting week. Metropolitan’s president Charlotte Reed describes her burgeoning group as “an active, community service organization rather than a traditional dog club. Our monthly socials bring awareness about canine issues, raise money for animal charities and encourage networking.”
The day’s events were just the start of the BIS winner’s tour of engagements. After a grueling competition filled with memorable moments and history-making decisions, the winning Beagle, for the first time, took pause for his winning steak.