WKC GIVES BACK TO THE SPORT WITH NEW 2018 DONATIONS AND JUNIOR SCHOLARSHIP INCREASE

New York, N.Y. – The Westminster Kennel Club is pleased to announce beginning in 2018, the club will donate $10,000 each to honor the respective winners of the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and the Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster. Each donation will be given to the training club where each winner is a member. In addition, the Best Junior Handler advanced education scholarship award will be increased from $6,000 to $10,000 in 2018. These new donations and scholarship increase continues Westminster’s 142-year tradition of giving back to the sport of dogs.

The Masters Agility Championship at Westminster, launched in 2014 and open to purebred and mixed-breed dogs, is a popular part of the Meet & Compete event held on the Saturday before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In this competition, 330 top agility dogs from across the country compete at the Masters level of competition in five height divisions. Fifty competitors then advance to the finals competition to determine the overall Masters Agility Champion. In 2018, the finals competition will be televised for the fifth year on FS1.

In 2016, the Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster was added to Westminster Week. This event attracts top-winning obedience trial champions (OTCH) for a unique competition consisting of traditional obedience exercises and a freestyle element. The competition is limited to 35 dogs whom compete for the championship. If the winner of the agility or obedience championships is not a member of a dog training club the donation will be made in their honor to a dog-related charity.

Since 1934, the Westminster Kennel Club has awarded a Best Junior Handler. Each year approximately 100 young people qualify to enter the Junior Showmanship competition at Westminster. Juniors come from all across the U.S. to be judged on their dog handling skills with eight advancing to the finals competition held at Madison Square Garden. Since 2010 the handler winning Best Junior Handler and the second, third and fourth placements in the finals have received scholarship monies towards advanced education. Starting with the 2018 event, the Best Junior Handler will receive $10,000. The remaining placements will continue to receive the following scholarship amounts; second place $5,000, third place $4,000, fourth place $3,000 and the other four finalists each receive $500.

All events during Westminster Week are presented by Purina Pro Plan®.

About The Westminster Kennel Club – The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all-breed, benched dog show held every year at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Today, America’s dog show has expanded into Westminster Week which includes the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and the facebook: WKCDogShow / twitter: @WKCDOGS / instagram: westminsterkennelclub Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster, both held at Piers 92/94. More than 3,000 dogs from the US and abroad make Westminster Week like no other. Westminster. There’s only one. Visit us at: www.westminsterkennelclub.org or follow @WKCDOGS.

About Purina Pro Plan – Purina Pro Plan is proud to be the food of choice for 10 of the past 11 Westminster Best in Show winners and 98 of the top 100 AKC All-Breed Champions.* With more than 400 on staff scientists, veterinarians and nutritionists, it is our goal to provide dogs with the nutrition they need to be their absolute best, to help keep them energetic and resilient, and to maintain an ideal body condition, healthy skin and a stunning coat. Because being the best he can be means something different for every dog, our wide range of dry and wet foods and snacks, sold exclusively at pet specialty stores, can be found in 80+ formulas across four specialized categories, formulated for a dog’s unique needs. For more information, visit www.proplan.com or follow @ProPlan on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine or Google+. The brand is manufactured by Nestle Purina PetCare, which promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness. *The handler or owner of these champions may have received Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.