Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rick's Roadshow: New York, Westminster Kennel Club Judging

Welcome to another installment of Rick's Roadshow: New York, from the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This is one aspect of my job that I truly enjoy. Since I started attending Westminster five years ago, I've learned a great deal about the sport of raising and showing dogs. I've been fortunate to meet and mingle with the top judges, professional handlers and some of the best breeders (who follow responsible practices in this sport). Of course my role in attending is to represent my company and develop business relationships; but I also enjoy being in the company of dogs too! keep in mind that now I have Sheldon I have become a poodle person. Mind you, I'll never get him groomed like the show dog poodles..but they sure are fun to watch. I thought I'd share a few "behind the scenes" photos that most people never see of Westminster:
above: the inner circle of benching, grooming and staging ring areas. The sizes of the benches vary by breed size.

above: during the day, the judging by breed is held to identify the Best in Breed, which will later represent that breed in one of the groups during the televised broadcast.
above: other events, such as the Junior Showmanship competition takes place, for youngsters learning the sport of handling and showing dogs. This competition is more about the form and handling the kids follow in the ring.
Last Minute Preparation before the Breed Competition

above: This black standard poodle has a few finishing touches to his coat before being called into the ring...
above: ...and this white standard poodle gets a quick comb-out before he heads out into the ring.
above: There were a total of 20 standard poodles in the poodle breed competition.

above: this poodle bitch (female canine term) stands at the ready during the judging...

above: the judges carefully inspect eyes, teeth, coat and temperament before eventually selecting the winner of each breed.
The Evening Prime Time Main Event

above: At 8pm Eastern time, the televised Westminster Show began with Hounds, followed by Terriers, Non-Sporting, and then Herding. On Tuesday night will be Sporting, Toy, Working, followed by the Best In Show.

above: behind the scenes in the main ring. Network television cameras and media prepared for the show.

above: I had awesome seats, among distinguished show judges, just behind the the main judging table with the silver cups and awards.

above: It's always fun to see the wide range of dog sizes/types within a particular group.

above: This Basenji makes the rounds with the Herding group judging.

above: within the Non-Sporting group, the Standard Poodle, followed by the Boston Terrier
above: The Standard Poodle bitch wins the Non-Sporting Group ribbon. Her full AKC name is "Champion Randenn Tristar Affirmation", but is known simply as "Yes" but I heard her owners call her "Yessie"

above: "Yes" is clearly excited, and shows her pleasure having been selected as winner of the group. Here is a quick snippet of Yes winning:

above: click the arrow in the lower left corner to watch the snippet. Sheldon and I are hoping she wins the Best In Show on Tuesday! Gosh I just love the excitement of this dog show. Thanks for stopping by today.

-Rick Rockhill


kenju said...

I look forward to seeing it on TV. I have to say that I rally hate to see poodles groomed that way. They look so stupid, and I know they are usually smart dogs.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Kenju- I agree that the poodle cut looks strange, but there is a reason:
Poodles origins are in hunting and retrieving, especially in water. A poodle's thick coat could weigh it down in the water. When the bottom half of its body is shaved, poodles become more buoyant and could swim easier. The full mane and hair around the chest was left to keep the poodle's vital organs warm in the cold water, and owners the hair around the joints had puffs to protect them from cold and injury and to help prevent rheumatism. Shaving the hair around the face left the poodle's mouth and eyes free so it could fulfill its retrieving responsibilities, and tying the hair on a poodle's head into a "top knot" also kept hair out of its eyes.

jackie said...

I learned something new today- glad I read your comment to kenku before I said the same thing! this must be so fun to attend, I love dogs and would love to see the show someday.

Anonymous said...

I'm bummed I missed TV last night. I'll catch it on the reruns.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

well rick if you think yessie should winn then i'll root her on!

smiles, bee

A Lewis said...

Did you see any Maltipoos? I'd have been smitten. All of those cutie pie doggies in one spot!

Olivia said...

Oh I remember Yessie - she's been winning ribbons for a long time now, or at least, her owner and handler have with other poodles, if it wasn't her. But I'm pretty sure it was her...

grace said...

I see a Basenji! Will have to ask my brother if he knows the dog, I am sure he does.

How exciting, I wait for the day a Brittany does really well, I have 2 of them.

Biddie said...

I knew about the reasons behind the poodle cut, but I still dislike the look.
We had a champion poodle growing up (he was a stud/show dog before we adopted him) and I swear, he HATED the fru fru cut.
Still, I LOVE poodles, they will always be one of my fav breeds.
Of course, I love me some yorkies, too.
Who am I fooling? I just adore dogs of any breed! Thanks for the pics.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I watched the Finals tonight and it was quite thrilling when that wonderful dog that had almost died in 2004, won! A BEAUTY!
My favorite was that little Griffon who was a finalist.....I was hoping he/she would win, but I must say I thought it was GREAT when the one that did win, WON! I
ve already forgotten the Breed...but you know who I mean---"STUMP".....It was exciting!
But we didn't see who won 2nd and 3rd place though....All those Awards and well, the judges held them and then---it was over!
TELEVISION is sometimes exasperating....lol! In previous years I seem to remember seeing the 3nd and 3rd place on TV....!

How exciting to have been there Rick....
I LOVE seeing all your pictures---Especially the "backstage" behind-the-scenes photo's.

Anne said...

I think standard poodles are beautiful and their grooming is awsome! I can see why you love your job! What fun

C said...

Looking dashing as always, Rick! The dog show looks like so much fun!

I know it's been way too long since I've popped on over. I have been thinking of you though! For some reason I honestly thought I'd have more time for the internet and blogging once the baby and I got back from the hospital! Ummm...WRONG!!!

Diane J Standiford said...

Stump was so cute on the Today Show. Just like usual celebrities---bored until the camera was on then all smiles. LOL


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