– Same Dog Sweeps both Westminster and AKC/Eukanuba National Championship –
Last night the stunning English Springer Spaniel, Ch Felicity's Diamond Jim, known as “James” of Fairfax Station, VA handled by Kellie L. Fitzgerald won the 131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. James is owned by Mr. & Mrs. Allen Patton, R. Dehmel and D. Hadsall. Best in Show Judge Dr. Robert A. Indeglia of Narragansett, RI awarded the honors to James.
Established in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club is one of the oldest existing AKC member clubs. Its show, held every year at Madison Square Garden, is the second longest continuously held sporting event, behind the Kentucky Derby.
The pair was also honored months earlier by winning the prestigious AKC/Eukanuba National Championship where they beat out 2,500 dogs in every AKC-recognized breed and variety, including 116 competitors from foreign registries representing 16 countries, and earned a whopping $50,000 cash prize. James is the third dog to win top honors at both shows. Bichon Frise Ch. Special Times Just Right did it in 2001 and Kerry Blue Terrier Ch. Torums Scarf Michael won the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in 2002 and Westminster in 2003.
“James has had a long show career and can retire at the top of his game after these crowning achievements,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “This is the third dog who has won both events. It just goes to show that it takes a top contender, a truly special dog, to earn Best in Show at the country's premier venues.”
Some facts about the English Springer Spaniel:
The Breed ranked 26th in popularity in 2006 according the AKC's annual registration statistics.
More than 8,200 English Springer Spaniels were registered by the AKC in 2006.
The English Springer Spaniel was recognized by the AKC in 1910.
The typical Springer is friendly, eager to please, quick to learn and willing to obey.
The breed comes in the following colors: black or liver with white, blue or liver roan and tricolor.
In 1902, the Kennel Club (England) granted English Springers and English Cockers separate breed status.
AKC registered purebreds are eligible to compete in a multitude of events. In addition to dog shows, obedience, rally and agility trials, English Springer Spaniels may also compete in limited breed activities such as field trials and hunting tests. To learn more about the English Springer Spaniel or about the breed's national rescue, visit the AKC parent club, the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, Inc. at www.essfta.org.