Issue #1

This is the first in a regular series of news and updates for the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to be held February 11-12, 2013.

Just in case you haven't already heard the news:

It is the goal of the Westminster Kennel Club to put on the best quality dog show ever, and to accomplish that, we are implementing a number of changes for our 2013 show. As we continue to work on the logistical details for all of these changes, we want to share with you all the news that we have at this point. We will do that in periodic issues of the "Westminster Times." Topics covered in this issue include:

  • An additional venue for breed judging
  • A larger entry limit
  • Additional categories for competition
  • Transportation to be furnished for exhibitors
  • Parking availability for exhibitors
  • Hotel considerations

While details will eventually be available in the premium list that comes out in October, we want to share all the news that we have now, and we will continue to do that periodically as we move forward with our plans.

First things first: These changes are being made for the purpose of accommodating exhibitors and spectators with a return to a fully-benched dog show, something that has been the hallmark of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show since its inception in 1877.

Additional venue: Breed judging and benching will take place at Piers 92/94 in New York City, located at West 55th Street and the West Side Highway, both days of the show, Monday and Tuesday (see www.piers9294.com). Piers 92/94 is a trade show and special event venue with a total of over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space. Group and Best In Show judging, as well as the Junior Showmanship Finals, will still be held at Madison Square Garden on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Entry limit: The increase in available space at the Piers allows us to increase the entry limit to 3,200 dogs. This will be the largest entry limit since a formal entry limit of 2,500 was established in 1941. In recent years, our entry limit has steadily decreased as Madison Square Garden renovated its physical plant to serve its core activities.

Dogs eligible to enter: For the first time since 1991, non-AKC champions will be eligible to enter and compete in the classes (Bred By Exhibitor, American Bred and Open). To be eligible for these classes, dogs must have won at least one major award (3 points or more from the classes at one show). These dogs are all eligible for all awards, including Best of Breed. As has been the case since 2000, the top five dogs in each breed in breed point standings will be invited to pre-enter. In addition, Best of Breed winners of National Breed Club specialties in 2012 will also be invited to pre-enter.

Transportation: Westminster will provide bus transportation from the three Garden-area hotels (Hotel Pennsylvania, Affinia Manhattan, New Yorker Hotel) for exhibitors with dogs beginning early each morning and returning later in the day as dogs are released from benching. Bus transportation for Best of Breed winners and their handlers will be provided from the Piers to Madison Square Garden and return each day. Schedules will be listed in future issues.

Parking: There is daytime parking for 900 cars at the Piers. There will be reserved parking available for handlers/exhibitors with box trucks and large vans on the first level of Pier 92 (no propane tanks will be allowed). More details and reservation forms will be available at a later date.

Hotels: Our list of hotels will be on the website as it develops. We recommend that you continue to use the Garden-area hotels. Plans are under way to provide shuttle transportation services for exhibitors and spectators between the Piers, Madison Square Garden, the Hotel Pennsylvania, the New Yorker Hotel and the Affinia Manhattan Hotel.

Judging panel: The judging panel will be announced next week.

Superintendent: MB-F (email: mbf2@infodog.com)

Final Note for Issue #1: We will share additional logistical details here and on the Westminster website as they become available. Many of your questions that are yet unanswered are the same ones being asked by us as we move forward.


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