The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is an all-breed conformation show that has been held in New York City annually since 1877.
Currently, the breed and Junior Showmanship competitions are held at Piers 92 and 94. While the group and Best in Show competitions are held at Madison Square Garden.
In the other hand, The number of entries is so large at nearly 3000 that two days are required for all dogs to be judged.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of a handful of benched shows in the United States.
In this show dogs are required to :
- Be on display in an assigned location (bench) during the entirety of the show except when being shown in the ring,
- Groomed for showing,
- Taken outside to eliminate.
So that spectators and breeders alike have an opportunity to see all the entered dogs. (In the more common un-benched shows, dogs are required to be present only at assigned ring times.)
This year, therefore, the organizers decided, not to scroll through the cats, but to present at one of the events surrounding the prestigious competition: “Meet the Breeds”.
Some devotees of the canine world spoke of “apocalypse” at the announcement of the project.
Yet, not enough to whip a cat (!):
- Only about forty purebred cats had for the first time the privilege of being approached and admired by the public;
- The cats did not parade, but were exposed in a separate space, outside the prestigious Madison Square Garden arena;
- They were present only on February 11th, while the contest lasted from the 11th to the 14th.
“We took the necessary precautions so that both cats and dogs feel comfortable and safe (…) It’s already a lot for them to have all these people around, we do not want to add to their stress” explains an organizer.
Mix test obviously successful. Is this the beginning of a tradition?
Check this article for some of the funny cases happened in this yearly event :