Looking Back: The 1989 Westminster Kennel Club Show

Go back in history 25 years to the 1989 Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Dates: February 13-14, 1989

Number of Entries/Dogs: 2,658/2,628

Best in Show Winner: Doberman Pinscher Ch. Royal Tudor’s Wild As The Wind, CD, ‘Indy’

Group 1sts: Pointer Ch. Luftnase Albelarm Bee’s Knee’s (Sporting Group); Norwegian Elkhound Ch. Vin-Melca’s Calista, handled by Patricia V. Craige (Hound Group); Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Ch. Andover Song ‘N Dance Man (Terrier Group); Pug Ch. Rowell’s Solo Moon Rising (Toy Group); Standard Poodle Ch. Ted-El Halo Jet Setter (Non-Sporting); and Puli Ch. Wallbanger Kermit J. Bounce (Herding Group).

Handler: Andy Linton

Owners: Arthur and Susan Korp, Beth Wilhite, and Richard and Carolyn Vida

Best in Show Judge: Muriel Freeman

In 1989, 16 out of the 40 judges at Westminster were women, and the BIS-winning Doberman Pinscher ‘Indy’ went through three women judges before earning her Westminster Best in Show honor. She went Best of Breed under Bonnie Linnell Clarke, Working Group First under Charlotte Clem McGowan (she also won the Group in 1988 under Betty Moore) and finally Best in Show under Muriel Freeman (Westminster’s ninth female Best in Show judge). Mrs. Freeman said that the Doberman was “very elegant, very correct and very balanced. She was all the things she’s supposed to be.” When 4-year-old ‘Indy’ arrived in New York the week before the show, she was treated for bloat – luckily her stomach did not turn over, and she recovered in time to be shown. She was also the top dog in the United States in 1988.

Sixty percent of the dogs entered in 1989 were champions and the rest had to have at least one championship point in order to enter. Of the 141 breeds in competition, not one non-champion made it to Best of Breed.

This year Patricia Craige (later Patricia Craige Trotter) showed a Best of Breed for the 14th time at Westminster and won the Hound Group seven times.


Other Historical Events of 1989

  • The first commercial dial-up Internet connection in North America is made.
  • The Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
  • Student-led protesters in China occupy Tiananmen Square for seven weeks before the military violently ends the protests on June 4.
  • The portable handheld Game Boy system from Nintendo and the Sega Genesis are first sold.
  • The world’s first legislation allowing same-sex civil unions is enacted in Denmark.
  • A 7.1 earthquake near San Francisco kills 67 and delays the World Series for 10 days.
  • Both George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev state that the Cold War is coming to an end.
  • The Berlin Wall officially “falls” on November 9, 1989, although it is not completely dismantled for many months.
  • The first full-length episode of The Simpsons airs on FOX.


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 Phildadelphia 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. Westminster is also one of the last benched shows in the United States.



See the 1938 Westminster Winner>>

See the 1963 Westminster Winner>>

See the 1964 Westminster Winner>>

See the 1988 Westminster Winner>> 

 See the Westminster Winners from 2003 to the Present>>

Article Categories:
Dogs In Review