Westminster Dog Show Opens Outdoors For First Time In Nearly 150 Years
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the second-oldest continuous sporting event in the U.S. (after the Kentucky Derby), is taking place away from Madison Square Garden for the first time since 1877. In order to follow New York’s COVID-19 guidelines, the 145th annual show will take place outdoors at Lyndhurst Estate. The estate, which is located in Tarrytown, New York, overlooks the Hudson and provides plenty of green space for the dog show to safely continue. No spectators or vendors are allowed and any humans present must provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show.
Westminster Kennel Club President Charlton Reynders III told the press, “We are excited to host the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Lyndhurst, a unique icon of American culture with its park-like landscape and majestic castle overlooking the Hudson River. The wide-open outdoor space at this extraordinary venue allows us to hold a dog show safely while following current social distancing guidelines and public health regulations.”
This year’s show was postponed due to the pandemic and next year’s show will return to Madison Square Garden in 2022.
This year’s competition will feature 206 breeds and 2,500 dogs from around the world. Dogs are invited based upon certain requirements, like how many dogs they’ve beaten in other breed competitions. Dogs that aren’t invited still have a chance to compete if they have won a certain number of major dog show awards. The Westminster Kennel Club then categorizes dogs into specific groups. They are Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. Animals are further divided based on their coat, color or size. They must first compete in Best in Breed before moving up to Best in Group and Best in Show, the grand prize.
The show takes place June 12th and 13th, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on both days. It is available to watch on FOX, FOX NOW App and the FOX Sports App.