As the hype from this years Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show dies down after Malachy’s big win, the WKC is already planning big changes to the show for 2013.
Westminster Kennel Club is making big changes for 2013.
For most of its 136 years, the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show has been held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. However, recent remodeling and construction at the Garden has limited the space available for both spectators and dogs with their handlers. Next year, the show will be held in two venues. Piers 92/94 will house the breed judging and Madison Square Garden will host Best in Show and the Junior Showmanship finals.
Additionally, the move will allow WKC to accommodate 3200 entries, a huge increase from the 2000 allowed in 2012.
WKC is also allowing dogs that have not yet earned their championship status (but that have won major points already) to enter the competition.
“We take great pride in our relationship with the world’s greatest sporting arena,” said Westminster President Peter R. Van Brunt in announcing the changes. “We are happy that these changes will help us continue to produce the greatest dog show in the world for the dogs, the people in our sport, the spectators who come to the show, and the millions more who watch us on television.”
These changes are a step in the right direction, but at the Dogington Post, we’re still waiting for the day when every dog is welcomed at Westminster. As it operates now, Westminster is, in essence, a beauty pageant for dogs. Supporters of the show’s strict entry restrictions claim that these dogs have been bred specifically for certain traits and tasks, that allowing dogs to enter that don’t meet the breed standards will destroy the breeds.
So, why aren’t these dogs being judged for what they’ve been bred for years to do? Hunting, retrieving, herding, working… where are those competitions at Westminster? Are those that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year molding the perfect herding dog afraid that my 13 year old mutt might do a better job? Even beauty pageants have talent competitions, where the girl who may not have the most perfect figure or the most beautiful face can still shine and be rewarded.
Tell us what you think about Westminsters big changes for 2013. And, tell us your thoughts about the show in general, in a comment below.