16 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Westminster Dog Show

Stump WKC Best In Show 2009

As the second-longest continuously run sporting event in the United States, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina® Pro Plan® has been around longer than the AKC and has seen new breeds, a growing number of entries, and an upgraded venue in its 140-year history. Here are a few other facts you probably didn't know about Westminster:

  1. Wire Fox Terriers have won Best In Show 14 times. The first Wire Fox Terrier winner was Ch Matford Vic in 1915 and the most recent was the Purina® Pro Plan® Shredded Chicken and Rice-fed GCH Afterall Painting The Sky in 2014. Scottish Terriers have won eight times and English Springer Spaniels have won six times.
     
    Sky WKC Best In Show 2014
    "Sky" after winning Best In Show in 2014. Photo: Jack Grassa.
  2. Since the show began in 1907, 47 different breeds have taken the Best In Show title.
     
  3. Ch Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee is the oldest dog to ever win. The Sussex Spaniel, who was fed Purina® Pro Plan® All Life Stages Chicken And Rice, was 10 years, 2 months, and 10 days old when awarded Best In Show in 2009. The youngest dog to ever win was the 1929 winner, a nine-month old Collie named Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven.
     
    Stump WKC Best In Show 2009
    "Stump" after winning Best In Show in 2009. Photo: WKC.
  4. Ch. Warren Remedy is the only dog to win Best In Show three times. The Smooth Fox Terrier won in 1907, 1908, and 1909.
     
    Warren Remedy First Best In Show WKC
    Painting of Ch. Warren Remedy, the first Best In Show winner at Westminster and the only dog to win Best In Show three times. Painted by Gustav Muss-Arnolt. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
  5. The last nine Westminster Best In Show winners were fed Purina® Pro Plan®. Last year, all seven of the group winners were fed Purina® Pro Plan®.
     
    Miss P 2015 Best In Show winner
    The 2015 Best In Show winner "Miss P" is fed Pro Plan® 30/20 SPORT Chicken & Rice. Photo: Steve Surfman

     

  6. Terriers have taken home Best In Show 46 times, the most of any group. The Sporting Group comes in second with 19 winners, then the Working Group with 15, Toy with 11, Non-Sporting with 10, Hound with four, and Herding with one.
     
  7. Dogs (males) have won 70 times, most recently with Pro Plan® Performance-fed GCH Banana Joe V Tani Kazari in 2013. Bitches have won 38 times, most recently with Ch Tashtins Lookin For Trouble in 2015.
     
  8. Stanley Halle's Halleston Kennels has owned a record three Best In Show winners, all Wire Fox Terriers, in 1926, 1934, and 1937. Six other owners have had two Best In Show winners at Westminster.
     
    Best In Show 1934
    1934 Best In Show winner Ch. Flornell Spicy Bit of Halleston. Photo: AKC Archives.
  9. Handlers Percy Roberts and Peter Green are tied at four Best In Show wins as a handler.
     
  10. Bob Forsyth (1964) and Jane Kamp Forsyth (1970) are the only husband and wife to each win Best In Show as handlers. Jane showed a Boxer (Ch Arriba's Prima Donna) and Bob showed a Whippet (Ch Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth).
     
  11. Three husband and wife pairs have judged Best In Show: Beatrice Godsol (1958) and Major Godsol (1968; Dorothy Collier (1997) and Chester Collier (2000); and Edd Bivin (1999) and Irene Bivin (2003).
     
  12. Seven breeder-owner-handlers have won Best In Show. Only one has won Best In Show twice, H. E. Mellenthin with a Cocker Spaniel, Ch My Own Brucie.
     
    Best In Show two-time winner H.E. Mellenthin
    Ch My Own Brucie with breeder-owner-handler H. E. Mellenthin, who is the only breeder-owner-handler to win Best In Show at Westminster twice. Photo: AKC Archives.
  13. William W. Brainard Jr. is the only individual who has judged Best In Show at Westminster three times (1958, 1972, 1976). Eight other judges have judged Best In Show twice.
     
  14. At the first show, 35 breeds were represented along with a Miscellaneous class.
     
  15. The 1948 show was the first Westminster show to be broadcast on TV.
     
  16. The show has been held at all four Madison Square Garden venues and is the only event that has. Only seven shows in Westminster's history were not held at the Garden.
     

For more information about the show, visit the Westminster Kennel Club website.

Header image: Madison Square Garden during the 2015 judging of the Sporting Group at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Credit: Sandra Dukes.
 

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