Since 1877, the world’s most famous and prestigious dog show continues to add to its legacy. For the fifth year in a row, Fidose of Reality takes to the “garden green” at Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City, New York, for the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The iconic show took place February 16 and 17, with benched judging taking place at the “Piers” during the day and the televised group judging in the evening. Two new breeds were entered into this year’s competition: The Coton de Tulears in the non-sporting group and the Wirehaired Vizslas in the sporting group.
There are stories and off-camera antics that take place, none of which ever make it to the airwaves. And that is why we take to the garden green every year: To bring our readers some insider scoop and video with images from Westminster off camera. Judging takes place at two different venues due to the capacity of the show and the dogs entered. This year, 2,711 dogs entered and only one was crowned “Best in Show.” Of course, as the “voice of Westminster,” David Frei says, the best in show dog is the one sitting beside you right now. We concur.
Here are eight fun facts and insider info about Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Posh Pennsylvania “Palace”
The Hotel Pennsylvania is the host hotel and is conveniently located across the street from Madison Square Garden. The hotel has 1,700 rooms! They host the largest in-door doggie spa in all of New York, offering the show dogs everything they need to get ready for the Show: bathing tubs, dog grooming area, exercise/fitness area, and an in-house relieving area. Doggie concierge, Jerry Grymek, gave us a personal tour of the amenities and here’s what the dogs do when not showing:
David Frei is Genuinely Caring and Loves Dogs
When the cameras are not rolling and when he is walking around the Piers, Frei is a man of gentle and caring ways towards people and the dogs. The 2015 broadcast marks Frei’s 26th consecutive year as co-host. I can honestly say that Westminster would never be the same without Mr. Frei’s voice broadcasting. I wonder how many folks know that my dream is to co-host the show with him as armchair quarterback.
Magneto, a one-year-old Leonberger, who was one of the participants this year, plays “Sandy” in the play “Annie.” He also models tuxedos for New York City doggie designers and has attended our Wigglebutt Warriors “Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof” event with his pack mate, Mr. America. He took Winner’s Best Dog title at the Piers.
There are so many off-camera moments, that we decided to compile some of our favorites into this video: Give a peek and then read on for more:
Weatherdog Roams the Floor
Have you heard of a dog who is a weather forecaster? Well then meet Schmitty the Weatherdog. Together with Ron Trotta, the duo are New York Westminster icons, bringing the weather and fun reports throughout the show. Here, in this exclusive clip, they tell Fidose of Reality readers more about the dog show and their latest happenings. Be sure to follow them on Facebook!
Keep it In the Family
The best in show winner, a four-year-old beagle from Canada, beat out hundreds of others to win top honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. Miss P, call name “Peyton”, is the grand-niece of Uno, the beagle who took home the Best in Show title in 2008. As we sat in the media box, our eye was immediately captured by Miss P, and here’s our photo of the grand pooch being looked over by the Hound Group judge as her handler, Will Alexander, looks on.
Mix and Mingle
If you bring your dog to Westminster fun, as I did, you are welcome to walk around the Hotel Penn and meet and greet the dogs on arrival and in the basement of the Hotel Penn. Here, our PR (Puppy Relations) Manager, Dexter, goes nose to nose for some fun with one of the Siberian Huskies who competed at Westminster.
If you choose to come to the Piers for the first part of each day’s festivities during Westminster, get your bling on and credit card ready, as there are vendors galore ready to sell their wares to dog-loving consumers. Dog food sponsor, Pro Plan, had a huge exhibit, but there were also smaller areas that caught our eye. Namely, this blinged out jacket that we adore and remains one of our favorites. Vendors include David Frei’s Angel on a Leash, Arf Jewelry, and many more.
Did you watch the dog show? What was your favorite moment?