Another great night at Madison Square Garden! I’ll save my commentary on the venue and experience for Best in Show, but if you are dying to know what it’s like to stand amongst the beautiful dogs, see the results and musings from night one>>
I will say that the place was packed with people and enthusiasm. A lively bunch who were not afraid to make their opinions known.
The Sporting Group kicked off the night. With 31 breeds there were a lot of favorites, but a few certainly stood out. The ever popular Golden Retriever drew a large amount of cheers, applause and “awwws” as it trotted to it’s place. Before he even was announced, the Clumber Spaniel’s entrance spoke for itself and within moments the crowd broke into a full on roar. I can’t even describe it, you have to see it, but his face and happy go lucky grin, was certainly worth a cheer. Also making a statement was the Wirehaired Viszla a breed that made its debut at Westminster this year. It was clear that he would be welcomed with open arms.
In the end it was the beautiful English Springer Spaniel who took home the top prize, followed by the Black Cocker Spaniel the Clumber and the Irish Spaniel. It was a night for spaniels.
Next up was the Working Group. The Portugeuse Water Dog Matisse had a huge fan club as expected, but it was the large dogs that won over the crowd. The beautiful (and huge) Leonberger and Saint Bernard drew plenty of “awwws” as their faces filled the Jumbotron. The wrinkly faces of the Neopolitan Mastiff and Dogue de Bordeaux brought squeals of delight. Well maybe that was just me, hard to say.
This handsome Leonberger came in second.
The Terriers are a feisty and fun bunch. It seemed like their feet barely touched the floor as the bounded around the rings. A playful group, dogs barked and bounced, showing off their terrier selves. The Welsh Terrier charmed the crowd with one curious look at his handler and his “happy to be here” look that even had the judge holding back a laugh. He ended up taking the number two spot beaten out by the popular Skye Terrier. His long body, big ears and flowing locks made him a looker for sure. Combined with his award winning attitude, he made it to number one and secured his place as Best in Group, moving him ever so closer to the top prize.
Best In Show
Okay the group judging was amazing, but let’s get to the real goods – Best in Show. Let me paint the scene.
The ring goes dark and the spotlights spin around the ring with dramatic flair. The Jumbotron lights up with Westminster purple and gold as the lights around the arena flash. It’s like the beginning of a Knicks game, but all the star athletes in this game are dogs. The energy is palpable as the dogs make their entrance to the roar of the crowd and high-energy cinematic music. If you closed your eyes, you might not even know you are at a dog show.
The dogs are beautiful making their way around the ring, strutting their stuff and giving it everything they’ve got. The lights came back up and the seven finalists took their spots to be judged. They each put on their display, drawing incredibly positive reactions from the crowd. The judge took about 20 minutes to deliberate between each of the breeds and then finally returned to his stewards to discuss the results. After a short speech about the history of the competition, the 15″ Beagle (from the Hound Group) was named Best in Show, with the Skye Terrier as the Reserve (essentially, first runner up). The crowd, of course, went nuts.
Miss P taking her win in stride.