Westminster Dog Show Part 1
Cuz’n Cathy (she of the occasional comment to this blog) asked me to see about getting into Westminster.
“No way!,” I replied, “It’s sold out. It’s sold out long in advance.”
That was then. This is now. I scored an easy ticket to get in. But…for general admission seating (no assignment). And…$40! Dogs ain’t cheap to see in Manhattan, I guess.
But I thoroughly enjoyed it. I only went the first day and even then I left early. I only saw the hound and terrier groups. I will say this: the view on TV is much much better. I like dogs a lot, but I’m not enough of a dog person to stay up way past my bedtime in a place where they practically charge for oxygen (I was high enough up to consider asking for extra and find out how much they wanted). That’s an exaggeration. Virtually everything they sell on the floor goes for $4.50 (water, Cracker Jacks, cotton candy, Coca Cola, etc). I’m sure a little O2 would cost about the same.
It was held in Madison Square Garden.
I got there early and figured I’d see if I could get in. After a couple of years of being sold out, it just wasn’t this time. I was there very early and figured that I might be able to get in to see the dogs close-up for their breed judging before the finals for each of the types (hounds, terriers, toys, sporting, etc.).
As I walked in, I got to the main floor and found a judging going on.
I was a little mystified because of the different types of dogs being shown. It was a pretty slow process with no announcing going on.
The crowd was pretty small and intimate. I actually tried going onto the floor and was instantly stopped and told that my ticket was only for sitting up way, way, way high in the grandstand. I ignored the directive to hike up and keep on going up, and just went to the lowest areas of the grandstand.
I saw another set of presentations going on and finally figured out what the entire process was: the Junior Showmanship trials. I think the handlers were probably being more judged in this event and not the dogs.
Below is the picture taken at the closest point I got to the dogs.
The Junior Showmanship stuff ended and the Madison Square Garden crew started the setup for the night. I wandered around the Garden just looking at the general area. I later found out that I could have gotten backstage if I had gone about the time I showed up. I have no idea where “backstage” was with all the dogs being groomed; but that would have made the whole event worthwhile.
Instead I watched the crew.
If you hadn’t realized it, they put several of the breed cards inside each other in the order of the showing during the evening. Between the groups, the crew comes out and yanks off the outside card.
At this point, I was in a pretty good spot. I had been told that I was in the general admission area and was surprised to find such a good seat. You know what comes next: the seatholders showed up and I found out that I was way down amongst the assigned seating area. I gazed upward and realized I had a climb ahead.
Below is the view from where I ended up. When I first got there, it was pretty empty, but it filled up starting about 7:45pm. A lot of people were carrying binoculars. I only had my camera with the 5x zoom. No zoom on this picture.
Over the next two posts, I’ll cover what I saw.