ACCESS TO THE MEMBER’S AREA CONTENT IS FREE: You can now read any news, and view all the shows from around the world inside the News & Show Reports sections!
Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Westminster 2012

Featured Written by
Best in Show at the 2012 Westminster Show held in Madison Square Garden NY - Pekingese Ch Palacegarden Malachy Breed by Jim Smith & Jean Smith & Owned by Iris Love & S Middlebrooks & D Fitzpatrick...

Best in Show Photos by Mary Bloom & Jack Grassa
“Best In Show at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Show is the Pekingese” as announced by Cindy Vogels was greeted by rapturous applause from the audience in Madison Square Garden watched by millions of viewers nationwide who had tuned in to watch the event live.

These days, thanks to live streaming, countless people worldwide are also able to watch the proceedings in real time on the internet. Champion Palacegarden Malachy was handled by David Fitzpatrick who co-owns him with Iris Love & Sandra Middlebrooks. ‘Malachy’ was bred by Jim & Jean Smith of the Palacegarden Pekingese in Northumberland. His victory guarantees his place in the US canine history records as possible the last time a dog will be awarded Best In Show at Westminster and take the spotlight alone as new regulations shortly to be introduced across the USA will see the introduction of a Reserve Best in Show award.

Not many people here in the UK will know much about Malachy’s co-owners so I have collated a few interesting snippets by way of background information. David Fitzpatrick is widely regarded as genuinely nice guy and an excellent handler. He handled another British bred Pekingese, Ch Yakee If Only, to the No1 spot Top Dog All Breeds in 2005. Most of us reading this feature will have an indirect connection with Sandra Middlebrooks as we drink a cup of coffee or tea accompanied by one of my favourite treats... a Krispy Kreme donut. Iris Love comes from a privileged background. Her uncle was Solomon Guggenheim, he of the famous museum in New York, and her claim to fame is the rediscovery in the 1970s of the long lost Temple of Aphrodite at Knidos in Turkey.

She hosted the legendary gatherings at the Tavern On The Green in Central Park for many years which attracted a guest list of celebrities the like of which we only read of at AA list events. This is the second consecutive year that refurbishment is taking place at Madison Square Garden. The Main Arena has new seating and new restaurants and food outlets have been opened.

To accommodate the event this year the show was literally divided in two. On Day 1 Toys were benched and exhibited in the Theatre on the third level and Terriers were there on Day 2. Whilst it was relatively easy to travel between the two areas the commute did take some time and resulted in a perception that this was two distinct shows taking place on the same day at the same venue. Numbers were restricted due the ongoing works to 2,000 dogs, all of which must be American Champions. It did prove difficult to locate exhibitors as there was no designated benching areas for specific breeds, as was the case last year.

However, assistance and lots of it, was freely available from friendly Madison Square Garden staff in addition to an exemplary Press Room headed by Mr. Westminster himself, David Frei, and two of the slickest and most experienced assistants imaginable in the shape of Linda Duane and Ranny Green. For a foreign visitor such as myself and Cindy no query went unanswered for more than a few minutes and nothing perceived as too difficult to address. They would be most welcome at Crufts should they ever wish to volunteer their services. For those of you planning a visit in 2013 be aware that radical change is being introduced. Breed competition is being extended to Class Dogs in addition to Champions with an upper limit of 3,500 dogs. Breed judging will take place a couple of miles away from Madison Square Garden at an exhibition centre on one of the Piers located on the banks of the Hudson River and Group competition only will take place at the Garden in the evening.

Some interesting statistics: All 36 of the Top ranked show dogs in the USA were in attendance. All of the Top 10 in the Sporting, Working & Terrier Groups in addition to 9 of the Top 10 in the Hound,Toy & Non-Sporting Groups were entered. 5 Group Winners and 21 of the 28 Group placements from 2011 were entered. 101 Best Of Breed winners from 2011 were entered in a total of 185 breeds scheduled at this year’s show. Among the 6 new breeds were: the Cesky Terrier, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Finnish Lapphund, the Norwegian Lundehund (Puffin Dog), the Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless) and the American English Coonhound.

The latter, evolved from English Foxhounds, was originally used to hunt foxes and raccoons (I was intrigued about this one as I have not known Raccoons to be found in England). Unlike previous years the weather was unusually mild so exhibitors did not have to drive through snowstorms or endure sub-zero temperatures. Day 1 saw 4 Groups competing: Hounds, Toy, Non-Sporting & Herding. Whilst walking around the 5 rings on the Upper level we stopped to chat with Mark James of the Waterley Tibetan Terriers watching partner, Glenn Davies, showing a friend’s dog and David Roberts of the Kybo Tibetans whilst on the Lower level I spotted Andrew Goodsell and Sarah Jackson, both visiting from the UK. Amongst the celebrities who wandered around unrecognised I spotted Martha Stewart, the doyenne of kitchen etiquette in the USA who now broadcasts on the Hallmark Channel, looking at her favourite breeds, Chow Chows and French Bulldogs. We were warmly greeted by US dogdom’s royalty in the form of Peter Green accompanied by the ever so stylish Beth Sweigart. Peter was enjoying socialising and observing in advance of his judging assignments next day. We spent time watching the Havanese judging, comparing placements with that of the Havanese Speciality a few days earlier. As is the case with several other breeds, the BOB at the speciality did not get high honours in breed judging at the Garden. Bouviers were high on my list and I watched with interest comparing US Bouviers with our native ones in advance of my own judging appointment at Crufts. Unfortunately we missed most of the Briard judging as they clashed but we did manage to pat a British dog as he was being prepared, Ch Stormfield Seiso at Charson. ‘Seiso’ reacted immediately to our British accents and we secretly believe that helped him during breed judging as he went BOB! Finnish Lapphunds were making their debut and, in my capacity as Chairman of the Finnish Lapphund Club of GB, I spoke to most of the exhibitors and wished them success on this momentous occasion. The first Group to be judged was the Hound Group.

Patricia W. Laurans was the judge who cast her eye over the 29 Best Of Breeds. She has previously judged the Herding Group here in 1996 and the Working Group ten years later in 2006 and is a Founding Director of the charitable organisation, Take The Lead which is dear to the heart of many prominent US doggie people. Her main breed is the German Wirehaired Pointer. She shortlisted the Beagle (Under 13 inches), Dachshund (Longhaired), Dachshund (Wirehaired), Norwegian Elkhound, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Rhodesian Ridgeback & Whippet. Group 1 was the Dachshund (Wirehaired), GCH Raydachs Playing With Fire V Gleishorbach SW. ‘Cinter’ is co-owned by Shirley Ray, Maria and James Sakida is was the Top W/H Dachshund last year, No 19 in the Hound Group with 1 BIS and 5 Group wins.

Group 2 was the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Ch Done Bobbin’s Hot Toddy,’Texas’, co-owned by Jill Souderqvist & Genevieve Schave. This was the first Group placement awarded to a dog which did not feature in any of the Top Ranking tables. Group 3 was the Whippet, Ch Starline’s Chanel. She is co-owned by Lori, Carey & Nicole Lawrence and was No 1 Top Hound and No 7 in the Top 20 All Breeds for 2011. Group 4 was the Norwegian Elkhound, GCH Vin-Melca’s The Norseman. ‘Erik’ is the Top Elkhound and is co-owned by Patricia Trotter and Jennifer Reed and was handled by Pat Trotter who is well-known and respected in Elkhound circles in addition to being an eminent judge of international repute. Next came the Toy Group. During the course of the day it was widely speculated who would be the eventual winner between the Affenpinscher the Pekingese as they could be a contender for winning not only the Toy Group but also BIS ( providing they got through from breed competition but that was never in doubt ) Group competition di indeed prove to be the ‘clash of the Titans’. Timothy Catterson had the honour of judging this group. He is closely connected with various Kennel Clubs and his main breed is Italian Greyhounds. Although he has judged at breed level at Westminster on 2 previous occasions, this was his first Group appointment. The 23 BOBs were reduced to a final 8: the Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, English Toy Spaniel ( Blenheim & Prince Charles ), Maltese, Manchester Terrier (Toy), Miniature Pinscher, Pekingese & Silky Terrier.

Group Winners by John Ashbey

 Group 1 was the Pekingese, Ch Palacegarden Malachy, co-owned by David Fitzpatrick, Sandra Middlebrooks & Iris Love. ‘Malachy’ showed his little socks off in Group competition I have to admit. He is not only Top Pekingese but also No 1 Top Toy & No 2 in the Top 20 Dogs All Breeds with an impressive 50 BIS and 119 Group Wins.

Group 2 was the Affenpinscher, GCH Banana Joe V. Tani Kazari, co-owned by Zoila Truesdale & Mieke Cooymans and expertly handled by Ernesto Lara. ‘Joey’ is another dog with an impressive record of wins amounting to 33 BIS & 111 Groups and was no 2 Top Toy & no % in the Top 20 dogs for 2011. He was my personal favourite ( OK I declare an interest as I am an Affenpinscher afficionado ) to win the Group, pushed hard and did not put a paw out of place.

Group 3 was the Miniature Pinscher, GCH Marlex Classic Red Glare, co-owned by Leah Monte & Armando Angelbello. ‘Classie’ was top Min Pin last year.

Group 4 was the Silky Terrier, GCH Wind Dancer Jenstar Backstage Pass, co-owned by Teresa Gallegos & Linda Hurt. ‘Andy’ was no 8 Top Silky last year. The next Group was the Non-Sporting. 20 breeds entered the ring to be assessed by Randy Garren. Along with his partner, Dennis McCoy, he has bred 60 champion Poodles, made up over 1,000, won more than 500 BIS and has won 7 Groups at Westminster including 1 BIS!

He is probably best known for co-owning the Top Winning Non-Sporting Dog in history in the USA, the Standard Poodle, Ch Lake Cove’s That’s My Boy in addition to the top Winning Dalmatian in history. Mr. Garren asked 6 to remain behind: the Bichon Frise, Chinese Shar Pei, Dalmatian, Lowchen, Poodle (Miniature) & Xoloitzcuintli. Group 1 was the Dalmatian, GCH Spotlight Ruffian, co-owned by Jim & Barbara Lyons. ‘Ian’ was top Dalmatian last year in addition to being No 9 Top Non-Sporting Dog with 4 BIS and 41 Group Wins.

He must have made a real impression on Randy Garren. Group 2 was the Chinese Shar Pei, GCH Vaje’s Miss Jayne Hathaway, co-owned by Jeff & Vickie Mauk. ‘Jayne’ is named after one of the characters in what must rank amongst my favourites television comedy series which was made latterly into a film, the Beverley Hillbillies, and was top in her breed in 2011. Group 3 was the Lowchen, GCH Windsor Bihar Chasing Rainbows, co-owned by Margaret Cropsey, Carol A Strong, Gillian Robertson & Daniel Cunningham. ‘Chase’ is yet another BOB who was Top Dog in his breed. The final Group to be judged was the Herding Group.

The judge was Houston Clark. He first owned and showed GSDs before becoming licensed to handle all breeds as a professional handler for some 25 years, has now judged at Westminster on 4 occasions and judged the Sporting Group in 1998. From an initial 28 BOBs he kept 7 back for further consideration. These were; the Australian Shepherd, the Bouvier Des Flandres, Collie (Rough), German Shepherd Dog, Old English Sheepdog, Pulik & Shetland Sheepdog. Group 1 was the German Shepherd Dog, GCH Babheim’s Captain Crush, co-owned by James & Sheree Moses, Deborah Stern, Janet Lange, Carlos Navarro & Maria Desc. ‘Capi’ was handled superbly by the legendary Jimmy Moses himself. He was Top Herding Dog and No 11 All Breeds in 2011 with 27 BIS & 105 Group Wins to his credit. Group 2 was the Bouvier Des Flandres, GCH Quiche’s Grand Finale, co-owned by Daniel & Julianna Garrison & Elaine Paquette. ‘Al’ was handled by co-owner Elaine Paquette and was No 4 Bouvier last year. He is a half brother to three of Fiona Lambert’s imports, Douglas, Gullivers Travels & Gogo Girl. Group 3 was the Old English Sheepdog, Ch Bugaboo’s Big Shot, ‘Shooter’, co-owned by Jerson Valle and Colton & Heather Johnson.

Group 4 was the Shetland Sheepdog, Ch Mystic Ava Gardner, ‘Ava’ who is co-owned by Ni Yadong & Jiang Yaozhong and was another dog who was awarded high honours but whose track record is not documented. Upon leaving Madison Square Garden a quick look skyward confirmed that the Empire State Building was lit up in Westminster’s signature colours of purple & gold. All that remained to be done was a post-mortem of the judging over a chilled glass (or several) of white wine with visiting friends, Barry & Carole Canty of the Bargemon Bearded Collies, who had come back to NY to see the show again after a gap of several years, before heading back to our hotel some time after 1am!

Day 2 saw judging of the Sporting, Working & Terrier Groups. Wandering around the Terrier Rings on the Theatre level was Walter Goodman, the owner of one of my favourite NY stores, Bergdorf Goodman, and a nervous-looking Phil Davies waiting to see how Chelsey, his Kerry Blue, would do in breed competition. But more of that later... Word went round quickly that the top Sporting Dog, referred to simply as ‘THE Cocker’ did not get BOB and that started speculation as to who would take the Group later. This being Valentine’s Day there was a special event taking place... the first wedding at Westminster. Debra Parsons & William Slater, co-owners of a Tibetan Mastiff, exchanged their vows in the afternoon. Debra was given away by their dog, Major, who later went BOB, and their handler, Tony Carter, was Best Man. The glitterati of the US dog world pushed out the boat for the Group judging this evening.

There was a lot of serious bling being worn and some of the outfits sported by the ladies was truly exquisite. One very animated spectator/guest was none other than Steven Spielberg, clearly enjoying his time at the show. The first Group to be judged was the Sporting Group. W. Terry Stacy was the judge.

Terry and his wife, Jackie, are known in the UK by Affenpinscher exhibitors but many would not know that Terry bred Cocker Spaniels himself and has had an illustrious career in dogs having retired as Senior Vice President of the American Kennel Club in 1995, having been responsible for the introduction of the breed video programme & reformatting of the breed standards. This was his 3rd Westminster assignment. From an initial 30 BOBs he invited 7 to remain behind; the Pointer (German Wirehaired), Retriever (Labrador), Setter (English), Setter (Irish), Spaniel (English Springer), Spaniel (Irish Water) and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Group 1 was the Irish Setter, GCH Shadagee Caught Red Handed, co-owned by Debra S Burke & Nancy Lee Connor. ‘Emily’ was No 4 Top Irish Setter in 2011, an amazing feat when you consider she had a time out of the ring to whelp a litter of 15 puppies in May! Group 2 was the German Wirehaired Pointer, GCH Mt. View’s Ripsnortersilvercharm, co-owned by Claire & Kelly Wisch, who was Top GWP last year and No 5 Sporting Dog with 7 BIS & 43 Group Wins. Group 3 was the English Springer Spaniel, GCH Wynmoor Champagne Supernova, co-owned by Celie Florence, Beth Fink, Erin Kerfoot, Kenneth Goodhue-McWilliams & Delores Streng. ‘Picky’ is No 2 Sporting dog with 16 BIS & 71 Group Wins. Group 4 was the Irish Water Spaniel, GCH Whistlestop’s Riley On Fire, co-owned by Tom & Bethany Urban and Gregory Siner, who is No 5 Top Irish Water Spaniel. The second Group was the Working Group, judged by Ms Betty Regina Leininger.

This lady takes the prize for the best dressed judge in a long time She looked so chic in a midnight blue fitted long dress. Check out the web site to see for yourself! After a career as a multi-breed professional handler she became a judge and is the author of the book entitled “Preparation and Presentation of The Show dog under the name of Betty R. Brucker. This was her fifth Westminster assignment and she judged the Non-Sporting Group in 2004. She reduced the 28 BOBs to a figure of 8; the Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Standard Schnauzer & Tibetan Mastiff. Group 1 was the Doberman Pinscher, GCH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, co-owned by Suzy & Dick Lundy and Jocelyn & Kevin Mullins. ‘Fifi’ was Top Doberman in 2011, No 4 Working Dog & No 19 Top dog All Breeds with 15 BIS & 44 Group Wins and was handled by her co-breeder/owner, Jocelyn. She was certainly the favourite with the audience as she powered around the Main Ring.

Group 2 was the Boxer, GCH Winfall Brookwood Styled Dream, co-owned by Debbie McCarroll, Mark Fagan, Mrs Jack Billhardt & Sergio Tenenbaum. ‘Scarlett’ is the Top Winning Boxer Bitch in history, being Top Working Dog in 2011 and No 3 in the Top 20 all Breeds with an impressive 34 BIS & 102 Group Wins. She pushed so hard in Group competition and I feel it was a close decision. Group 3 was the Alaskan Malamute, GCH Catanyas Latin Lover, co-owned by P J Kendrick, Armando Martinez & Alisa Syer. ‘Ricky’ is No 9 Working Dog with 7 BIS & 25 Group Wins. When he is not showing he likes to snowboard, yes, you read that correctly! Group 4 was the Standard Schnauzer, GCH Pepper Tree Zorro V Morgenwald, owned by Penny Dufee. ‘Zorro’ is No 14 Working Dog and has 2 BIS and 10 Group Wins. The final Group to be judged was the Terrier Group. William F. Potter 2nd was the judge. He started off in Irish Wolfhounds before moving on to Smooth Fox Terriers and Norwich Terriers. This was his 3rd Westminster appointment. Another hotly-contested Group in which 29 BOBs initially entered the ring but 8 were asked to stay behind: the American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Border Terrier, Fox Terrier ( Smooth ), Kerry Blue Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier & Welsh Terrier. Group 1 was the Kerry Blue terrier, GCH Perrisblu Kennislain’s Chelsey, co-owned by Ed & Lynn Yingling, Phil Davies and Candace & Brock Yingling. ‘Chelsey’ is No 8 Top Terrier in the USA having only been campaigned for part of 2011 with 6 BIS & 28 Group Wins to her credit. She was put down to perfection and handled by Bill McFadden, one of the best-known professional handlers to we Brits. She was Top Terrier in the UK in2010. Phil almost passed out with joy in the Collecting Area when the judge pointed to her.

Group 2 was the Smooth Fox Terrier, GCH Slyfox Sneak’s A Peak, owned by James W Smith. ‘Autumn’ is No 2 Terrier and no 16 Top dog All Breeds with 21 BIS & 61 Group Wins. Group 3 was the Skye Terrier, Ch Cragsmoor Buddy Goodman, co-owned by Carolyn Koch & Victor Malzoni Jr. ‘Buddy’ was celebrating his fourth consecutive BOB at Westminster, in addition to being No 3 Top Terrier with 16 BIS & 106 group Wins. He was bred by Eugene Z. Zaphiris and Matthew H. Stander, publishers of Dog News, The Digest Of American Dogs, the longest running US weekly dog publication and great friends of Our Dogs. Group 4 was the American Staffordshire Terrier, GCH Castle Rock’s Sbigstaff Mad About You, co-owned by Genoa Brown, Ruth Sampson & Dayna Pesenti. ‘Maddie’ is the Top Winning American Staffordshire and is No 4 Top terrier with 15 BIS and 68 Group Wins in 2011. The moment was rapidly approaching when the coveted Best In Show would be awarded.

The Best in Show judge, Cindy Vogels, wore a gold two-tone sparkling jacket with a golden ruffled short skirt which was deemed to be a little ‘racy’ and controversial by many Americans and took up her position. The audience were reaching fever pitch when the 7 Group Winners were introduced one by one: the Wire Haired Dachshund, the Pekingese, the Dalmatian, the German Shepherd Dog, the Irish Setter, the Doberman Pinscher and the Kerry Blue Terrier. As each dog was given a final opportunity to impress the judge the audience roared their approval to each handler.

A hush fell over the Arena as a microphone was handed to Mrs Vogels to make her announcement. She thanked each handler and complimented them on their charges before announcing that BIS was the Pekingese, Ch Palacegarden Malachy. A short time later when the photographers had taken all their pictures Malachy and his triumphant co-owners appeared in the Press Room for the traditional round of interviews that takes place in the aftermath of this great event. Next day he & David would appear on Breakfast television, at Sardis to be presented with the silver platter of chicken, at the International American Toy Fair and then in Donald Trump’s office. As has become tradition we made our way across the street to the Affinia Hotel to have a very late dinner hosted by Lisa Croft-Elliot where we were joined by ‘the Brits’, Carrie Russell-Smith, Andrew Goodsell, Sarah Jackson, along with ex-pat Sara Montague of WYNC Radio and Margery Good of Sealyham Terrier fame, Erin Roberts the professional handler and later by Iris Love, Sandra Middlebooks & David Fitzpatrick who left the BIS party early to have a more intimate celebration with friends who sat at an adjacent table which included Jackie Stacy & Jackie Beaudoin, one of our Puli friends, who won BOB with her Puli at the show. I had a scoop sitting alongside and interviewing Sandra Middlebrooks as she is the only person to own a dog which has won BIS at the World Show, Crufts and Westminster. I asked her for her reaction to this and, with her infectious giggle, she said that she was absolutely thrilled and drank some more champagne! A fitting end to a wonderful show. See you in NY in 2013.

Group Winners by Lisa Croft-Elliott

Extra Photos
Read 4267 times Last modified on Monday, 12 September 2016

Digital Editions

Latest Shows

  • 148th Annual Westminster Show
    148th Annual Westminster Show A smart Miniature Poodle called Sage took Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan. GCHG CH Surrey Sage, handled by Kaz Hosaka…
  • World Dog Show 2024 Winners
    World Dog Show 2024 Winners What a week at the Zagreb Fair, the home of the world dog show in Croatia for the last few days, writes Vince Hogan. Watched by an enthusiastic crowd on…
  • Crufts 2024
    Crufts 2024 Well, it’s been and gone and done for another year...but what a Crufts show we have just had at the NEC in Birmingham! It was a case of ‘local girl…


Partners Shows

Newsletter Signup!

Purchase Our Dogs

ODi Sponsors

Unique shampoos and conditioners


Our Clients


Newsletter Signup!

For a weekly newsletter packed with the latest and newest dog relating info, show reports, and up and coming shows. Plus offers and other information. Subscribe below

cloudMore about Our Dogs International

This dedicated international dog-showing website is brought to you by Our Dogs one of the most respected dog media brands in Europe today. Features; up & coming dog shows in our partners section, plus show reports and photos after the shows have finished!

You will be able to view a vast range of photos taken at the shows by our top dog photographers, as well as show results from the shows & judges' reports and write-ups from leading contributors.