Westminster Hunting Test Set For September 22

Look for the purple WKC signs on the road directing you.

Before the world's greatest show dogs and Madison Square Garden's iconic green carpet became its hallmarks, The Westminster Kennel Club was about sporting dogs and beautiful scenic upland game bird fields.

That's still true today. Carrying on the tradition begun by its founding sportsmen in the early 1870s, Westminster is staging its sixth annual Licensed Hunting Test for Pointing Breeds on Sunday, Sept. 22, in the beautiful scenic fields at Tamarack Game Preserve in Millbrook, NY.

While the world knows Westminster for its famous all breed dog show held every year since 1877 at Madison Square Garden, The Westminster Kennel Club was in fact the first and is still the only all breed kennel club to hold an American Kennel Club licensed hunting test for pointing breeds.

"This beautiful site provides an excellent opportunity to see pointing dogs doing what they've been bred to do and loving it" says Test Committee Chair Steven M. Bedford. "Here's your chance to come home with a Westminster KC Hunt Test rosette and perhaps even finish a title. This is a great fun event for entrants and spectators like."

The entry closes at 4 pm ET on Monday, Sept. 16 and is limited to the number of dogs that can be run safely during daylight hours. Drawing of the order will take place the following day and be posted on the Westminster website (www.westminsterkennelclub.org).

The Master Hunting Test is scheduled for 8 am, with the Senior Hunting Test to follow. Junior Hunting Test will be concurrent with the Master Test. Judges will be Don Bristol of Oakville, CT, and Steve Kreuser of Canterbury, CT for the Master and Senior Hunting Test, and Richard Dwyer of Warner, NH, and Bill Fralick of Deerfield, NH for the Junior Hunting Test.

Click here for the premium, rules and entry form. For additional information or to receive a premium via mail, contact Hunt Test Secretary Harvey Wooding at (212) 213-3165.

The Westminster Kennel Club was begun back in the mid-1870's as a sporting club, with its primary activity being bird hunting, primarily with pointing breeds.

Beginning in the late 1800s, Westminster gradually began to shift its focus a bit to that of the dog show ring. There, they could show their own dogs and also help dog fanciers exhibit their own dogs for the world to see. But at the same time, the original intent of the club's forefathers was firmly evident: protect and promote the purebred dog and its abilities to do what it was bred to do.

More than a hundred years later, in 1986, the American Kennel Club created a hunting test and Westminster hosted the first demonstration in Pine Plains, NY. Many specialty clubs have staged hunting tests since then, but up until September of 2008, no all breed club had done so. It was appropriate that the Westminster Kennel Club, the country's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs, would do the honors and open the way for other all breed clubs to follow.


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