The True Cinderella Story Behind The 1980 Westminster Show

win shot cinnar

Helfgott-Turner Productions is in the process of funding their latest project, a movie called “A Little Magic: The Trish and Cinnar Story.”

The feature film will tell the true Cinderella story behind the 1980 Westminster Kennel Club show, where young Trish Kanzler handled her mother’s red Siberian Husky, Cinnar, to Best in Show—a remarkable feat, considering it was done with no money, a 23-year-old handler, and a dog who had lost part of an ear in a scrap with a kennelmate.

win shot cinnar
Kanzler and Cinnar after being named Best In Show at Westminster in 1980.

The film’s producers call Kanzler and Cinnar’s story a “real-life fairytale,” and to ensure a high degree of reality Cinnar will be played at various life stages by his grandson Reme (short for “Remember When”) and great-grandson Pare (“None Can Compare”). Following in his granddaddy’s paw prints, Reme will be competing at this year’s Westminster show.

westminster 1980 huskies

Thirty-six years after her storybook Westminster win, Trish is still active in dog shows and is involved in the making of “A Little Magic.” She is currently teaching Reme and Pare how to pull a sled, one of the real Cinnar’s favorite activities, for the movie’s big sledding scene. Trish says, “I support this film because I believe it will encourage young people to go into the sport.”

The producers have launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to finance “A Little Magic” because they met resistance from Hollywood.

trish and cinnar movie art
"A Little Magic" movie poster.

“The studios don’t believe dog lovers want an inspirational family movie,” producer Daniel Helfgott says. The Kickstarter campaign offers contributors an opportunity to put their dogs in the film. Some will have the chance to be at Westminster (at least in the movie) and even get into the ring for the Best in Show scene.

You can keep track of the movie’s progress by signing up for the newsletter here. “By signing up,” Helfgott says, “everyone will learn more about the movie project and how they can participate in the fun, including how they can put their dogs in the movie!”