Looking Back: The 1935 Westminster Kennel Club Show

Go back 80 years to the 1935 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Dates: February 11-13, 1935

Number of Entries/Dogs: 3,384/2,837

Best in Show Winner: Blakeen Kennel’s Standard Poodle Ch. Nunsoe Due de la Terrace of Blakeen

Group Winners: Giralda Farms’ Pointer Nancolleth Marquis (Sporting Group); Halcyon Kennel’s Greyhound Southball Moonstone (Hound Group); Florence B. Ilch’s Rough Collie Ch. Bellhaven Black Lucason (Working Group); Hollybourne Kennel’s Sealyham Terrier Ch. Ginside Babs of Hollybourne (Terrier Group); Miss E. G. Hydon’s Pomeranian Wonder Son (Toy Group).

Best in Show Judge: Alfred B. Maclay

In 1935, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show was America’s largest dog show to date, with 2,837 dogs entered. One hundred eighty-seven of these entries were Dachshunds, the most-entered breed of the show, and 179 entries were Cockers. Though 12 breeds were not represented at Westminster this year, there were 184 more dogs entered than there were in 1930.

This particular year’s show is noteworthy because it was the first year that a woman handled a dog to Best in Show, an accomplishment not repeated until more than 20 years later in 1956. In 1935, Mrs. Sherman Hoyt handled Standard Poodle Ch. Nunsoe Due de la Terrace of Blakeen to Best in Show under Judge Alfred B. Maclay.

The March 1935 issue of Dog World recorded nonchalantly that in addition to a free pencil, the show’s 362-page catalog included a raffle ticket for a free puppy on the last night of the show. The show featured movies of dogs working in the field, daily trained Doberman exhibitions and exhibitions from the New York Police Department featuring actual police dogs. Also discussed in the Dog World Westminster review article was the possibility of shortening the show from three days to two because of prior specialties and travel in addition to a three-day Westminster took a toll on both dogs and handlers.


Other Historical Events of 1935

  • Elvis Presley is born.
  • Amelia Earhart flies solo across the Pacific, from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif.
  • Parker Brothers releases the board game Monopoly.
  • Babe Ruth retires from baseball.
  • President Roosevelt signs the US Social Security Act.
  • The first Technicolor Mickey Mouse short film, The Band Concert, is released.


A General History of the Westminster Dog Show

In the 1870s, a group of New York City sporting dog enthusiasts would get together in a hotel bar in Manhattan to talk about dogs. They called their group The Westminster Breeding Association, named after the hotel, and helped stage a dog show in Philadelphia celebrating the nation’s centennial. After changing the name to the Westminster Kennel Club, they held a dog show in 1877 in the Hippodrome at Gilmore’s Garden in New York City. For almost 140 consecutive years, the show has been held in New York City every February. The Westminster Kennel Club Show is one of the oldest continuous sporting events in the United States, second only to the Kentucky Derby, and is the oldest dog show in the United States. The coveted title of Best in Show wasn’t awarded until 1907, when it went to a Smooth Fox Terrier that also won the next two years. The show’s first television broadcast was in 1948. Westminster is one of the only benched shows in the United States, drawing large crowds to see all of the dogs entered.


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