Looking Back: The 1938 Westminster Kennel Club Show

Go back in history more than 75 years to the 1938 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Dates: February 10-12, 1938

Number of Entries/Dogs: 3,536/3,093

Best in Show Winner: English Setter Daro of Maridor

Group 1sts: Smooth Dachshund Ch Fox vom Teckelhof (Hound Group); Rough Collie Ch Hertzville Headstone (Working Group); Wire Fox Terrier Ch Flornell Spicypiece of Halleston (Terrier Group); Pekingese Kai Lo of Dah Lyn (Toy Group); and Standard Poodle Ch Pillicoc Rumpelstilskin (Non-Sporting Group).

Handler: Charles Palmer

Owner: Dwight Ellis from East Long Meadow, Mass. (Maridor Kennels)

Best in Show Judge: John G. Bates

Best in Show judge John G. Bates chose English Setter Daro of Maridor out of an entry of 3,093 dogs (94 breeds were represented at the show) at the 62nd annual Westminster Kennel Club show. The English Setter male was young — just 11 months old — and he had never been shown in the ring before. On Saturday, February 10-12, 1938, more than 15,000 spectators attended the show at Madison Square Garden to see which dog would take Best in Show. The 1938 Best in Show judge John G. Bates appeared on the cover of Time magazine before the Westminster Kennel Club dog show with the caption “His choice becomes the people’s choice.”

This Best in Show winner sired eight offspring and was mated with six different females. He went on to win the English Setter Association of America National Specialty in both 1940 and 1941. His more famous brother Ch. Maro of Maridor was Top Dog of the year (No. 1 all breeds) for four years in a row from 1940 to 1943. He had 55 all-breed Best in Shows, more than any other dog up to that time.


Other Historical Events of 1938

  • The first Seeing Eye dogs were used in 1938.
  • The Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed to help farmers affected by the Dust Bowl.
  • Game show host Bob Eubanks is born on January 8 in Flint, Mich.
  • Howard Hughes set the record of traveling around the world in 3 days and 19 hours in a Lockheed Model 13 Super Electra, beating the preivous record by almost 4 hours.
  • German troops invade Austria.


A General History of Westminster

A group of sporting dog enthusiasts living in New York City in the 1870s would gather in a bar of the Westminster Hotel to discuss dogs. They decided to form a group named after the hotel called The Westminster Breeding Association. Soon after they changed their name to the Westminster Kennel Club and held a dog show in New York in 1877 in the Hippodrome at Gilmore’s Garden in New York City (they also helped put on a show in Philadelphia the year before). This show has continued for more than 130 years, held every February in New York City, making it the second oldest continuous sporting event in the United States (the Kentucky Derby is the oldest), and it is the oldest dog show in the United States. The coveted title of Westminster’s Best in Show was first awarded in 1907, and it was first broadcast on television in 1948. This show is also one of the last benched shows in the United States.



See the Westminster winners of 1963>>

See the Westminster winners of 1964>>

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See the Westminster winners of 1989>>

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