Editorial: May 19, 2023
The 147th Westminster Kennel Club show is now in the history books. The second-oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, it was held the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby, the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. Odd, yes, but as the Westminster Kennel Club looks to secure its next permanent home, we all need a little patience. This year’s venue was the world-famous USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open Tennis Championships. Just by virtue of its name and reputation, you know the cost of the nearly weeklong event, which, when you include the Saturday Obedience and Agility events, was astronomical. One must assume that cost was not a factor in bringing their entrants a venue closer to Manhattan. The security was so abundant that dogs were able to be left in the grooming area overnight. The grounds were certainly ample. The arena, where some breeds, groups and Best were judged, was certainly reminiscent of Madison Square Garden, and the outdoor rings and the tennis-center grounds, country fair like. Club president Donald Sturz, Jr., and members were friendly and available. The final line-up was represented by seven outstanding dogs. Judge Beth Sweigart adjudicated with the precision and knowledge that she always exhibits. Resplendent in a black tuxedo, she gave each dog its deserved attention, and found her Best in Show winner in the Petit Basset Griffon GChS M & M Stellar Spotify, bred by Donna Moore, Sara Robertson, Wendy Doherty and Janice Brown, handled by owner Janice Hayes, and owned by Donna Moore, Eric Ciceron, Wendy Doherty and Janice Brown. Two years in a row that a Hound has captured the top spot in more than a decade. Reserve Best went to no stranger to that rarified position, two-time Best in Show winner David Fitzpatrick with his Pekingese GCh. Pequest Rum Dum. A fitting ending to the dog show that is the standard bearer of our sport. No dog show gets the press and coverage that are afforded Westminster. It is our sport’s biggest asset to the public, a public that is inundated with the adoption of shelter dogs at the expense of purebred ownership. So it is imperative that the club remains in the public eye and carries the banner for our sport. Or course, the big question that should be answered soon is when and where the next show will be held. Not an easy question to answer, but this new team is up to the task. I think it safe to say that overall it was a success, because A Rose Is A Rose, and Westminster is an American Sweetheart Rose, if ever there was one.