A weekend blizzard that dumped a record 2 feet of snow on New York City failed to keep the crowds away or dampen the spirits of spectators and exhibitors at the 130th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
During the first day of competition on February 13, 2006, four American Kennel Club breed groups were judged: Working, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting, with a combined entry of 1,400 dogs. Breed competition was completed by mid-afternoon, setting the stage for the evenings group judging.
Judge Patricia Laurans kicked off the judging with a ring full of crowd-pleasers. The audience responded with applause and whistling to these animated show dogs.
First place went to the powerful and smooth-moving Rottweiler Ch. Carters Noble Shaka Zulu, handled by his breeder-owner Keith Carter. Group Second went to the popular Alaskan Malamute, Ch. Nanuke’s Snoklassic No Boundries, fresh from his Best in Show victory in January at the AKC/Eukanuba Championship in Tampa. He, too, was breeder-owner handled, with Sandra D’Andrea doing the honors. A remarkably high-spirited Mastiff, Ch. Southport’s Sherman, went Group Third. Sherman, now the top-winning Mastiff in history, delighted the audience by leaping in the air, an agile maneuver for a breed that often tips the scales at 150 pounds or more. Ch. Freestyle Ocean Breeze, a black Portuguese Water Dog in the traditional lion clip, placed fourth in this tough lineup.
The Terrier Group included some heavy hitters for judge Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine to evaluate. Colored Bull Terrier Rufus, more formally known as Ch. Rocky Tops Sundance Kid, triumphed in this sizzling group, handled as always by Kathy Kirk. Norfolk Terrier Coco (Ch. Cracknor Cause Celebre), who won back-to-back Westminster Terrier Groups in 2004 and 2005, came out of retirement every inch the show dog and placed second. Ch. Evermays High Performance lived up to his name, earning this Airedale a Group Third. A recently arrived import from Down Under completed the lineup: the Dandie Dinmont Ch. Hobergays Fineus Fogg.
Next: Toy Group Winners
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