Editorial: June 18, 2021
So it’s in the books for 2021. Not the Westminster Kennel Club we all remember, held in the winter at its permanent home of Madison Square Garden, but at another opulent spot on the Hudson River, the Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, held out of doors and out of town. Like many of you reading this, we were all familiar with this one-time venue for the Westchester Kennel Club. We were familiar with the castle, the landscape, the view, the history, but we were not prepared for the imagination and expense that were used to create an outdoor event that will never be equaled. A one-off event that addressed every possibility and was executed with great efficiency and flair. An air-conditioned marquee that was said to cost one million dollars and was accented with purple and gold lighting housed the group and Best in Show judging. The main ring was equal inside to that of the ring at Madison Square Garden. There was a wait staff serving drinks The tenting for the breed judging was so high as to not hold the heat of the day. Only a few concessions, and Dog News was proud to be among them. There were televisions throughout the venue, and the layout of the eight breed rings allowed you to view the action in every ring. It took many people to put on this event, but several names should be mentioned: Headed by club president Chat Reynders along with show chairmen Dave Helming and David Haddock; director of companion events Paul Campanella, and a very capable office team headed by director of operations Florence Foti, manager of operations Linda Duane and office manager Kramer Lindsley. All in all, it was a perfect three days for a perfect dog show. Those who were there will remember this weekend, and for those of you unable to attend, sorry to say you missed something very special.
For many attending, this event was the first in well over a year. Friends who hadn’t seen one another hugged and kissed. It truly was a family reunion, without a grouchy uncle. Adhering to the laws of New York, the club had very specific health requirements to attend to. Health documents were inspected, and temperatures taken at the entrance. But the real surprise was the recent dropping of wearing face masks. It was great to see everyone’s face. We saw more facial hair on the men and there was a lot more gray on the heads of both the men and women. It was reassuring and comforting to be among your friends in person after a long and isolating year period. And it couldn't have taken place at a more serene and inviting backdrop. Thank you to the members of Westminster for a most memorable and enjoyable weekend never to be forgotten. This is the reason “Westminster Is The One.”