Westminster 2021 Highlights!

The 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is in the books! Being the second longest consecutively held sporting event in the United States, Westminster is already steeped in history, but this year’s show was historic in its own way. For the first time, it was held in the month of June and outside of Manhattan at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. This was also the first time Westminster events were held outdoors. The Gould family was the last family to own the Lyndhurst Estate before it was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. The Gould family bred, showed, and cared for Saint Bernards and the property has a long history of hosting dog shows!

Here are the biggest highlights from this year’s show:

1. Wasabi the Pekingese was awarded Best In Show and Bourbon the Whippet was awarded Reserve Best In Show by judge Patricia Trotter.

2. The first night of Group competition featured the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding Groups. Bourbon the Whippet won the Hound Group, Wasabi the Pekingese won the Toy Group, Matthew the French Bulldog won the Non-Sporting Group, and Connor the Old English Sheepdog won the Herding Group! Fun fact: Wasabi’s grandfather Malachy won the Toy Group and Best In Show in 2012, and his father Chuckie won the Toy Group in 2017!

 Bourbon the Whippet, Wasabi the Pekingese, Matthew the French Bulldog, and Connor the Old English Sheepdog. Photo credits: Christina Frausini, Jack Grassa, and Haleigh Mansfield.

3. The second night of Group competition featured the Sporting, Working, and Terrier Groups. Jade the German Shorthaired Pointer won the Sporting Group, Striker the Samoyed won the Working Group, and Boy the West Highland White Terrier won the Terrier Group! Jade’s father CJ won the Sporting Group and Best In Show in 2016, but he sadly passed away unexpectedly from a fungal infection in September 2020.

Jade the German Shorthaired Pointer, Striker the Samoyed, and Boy the West Highland White Terrier. Jade the German Shorthaired Pointer, Striker the Samoyed, and Boy the West Highland White Terrier. Photo credits: Jack Grassa and Christina Frausini

4. Four new breeds were eligible to compete in the Conformation events this year! The Belgian Laekenios, Biewer Terrier, Barbat, and Dogo Argentino all competed in their respective Groups at Westminster for the first time.

The Dogo Argentino and the Biewer Terrier. Photo credits: Christina Frausini and Steve Surfman

5. The Junior Showmanship Finals were held before the second evening of Group judging and Lily Angeline Bennett won the Junior Showmanship title with her Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

6. 350 dogs competed in the the Masters Agility preliminary rounds on Friday before the Masters Agility Championship Finals that evening!

Photo credit: Christina Frausini

7. Verb the Border Collie and his handler Perry DeWitt won the overall title at 8th Annual Masters Agility Championship! This is the second time Verb and his handler have won this event as they also took top honours in 2019. Plop and his handler Lisa Topol took the title of Highest Scoring All American Dog for the second time, having also won this title in 2019.

Perry DeWitt and Verb. Photo credit: Steve Surfman

Lisa Topol and Plop. Photo credit: Steve Surfman

Plop and Verb winning their Masters Agility titles in 2019. Photo credit: Yaunna Sommersby

8. Grant the Labrador Retriever and his handler Mary Ann Flanagan won the 6th Annual Masters Obedience Championship! This is the first time a different dog and handler team won the title since this competition was introduced at Westminster in 2016. Hart the Labrador Retriever and her handler Linda S. Brennan won the title in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020!

Who were you rooting for this year and what did you enjoy most about the show?

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