------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Westminster 2007

What a whirlwind few days! We managed to make it back in the storm yesterday and I head out again this afternoon for Maryland. No rest for the weary!

I can't say we were thrilled with the results of Westminster this year. Deuce didn't win the breed, but did get an Award of Merit. She showed wonderfully - perfect in every way.

But, on to the pictures. There was so much to see! I have been to a few dog shows by now, but never a Benched show. Westminster is a benched show meaning that the dogs are all crated together by breed - all the Goldens together, all the Labs together, all the Aussies together, etc. When you get there, you find your aisle and spot (it reminded me of a supermarket - there were signs overhead with the aisle number and the breeds that held it) and found where to put your crate.

The size of the crate is pre-determined, so you really can't go any bigger than they let you. The dog is to remain in the "benching" area the entire time unless it is in the ex-pen (where they go to the bathroom) or being groomed. This is because it is a HUGE spectator show - the amount of people who walk up and down the aisles of dogs is incredible. Think MD S&W times about 50!
view of the benching area
The benches went on forever. Each dog had its own little cubby.

The floor of the garden was divided up into 7 rings for breed judging during the day. It was pretty packed with people and dogs. I sat in the stands to get the best views.
breed judging
view of the breed judging
(sorry for the dark pics - picture taking was not easy with the lack of lighting!)

I watched many different breeds compete. Cattle dogs, Pulis, Beagles. They all looked amazing!
Westminster 2007
Check out that Afghan hound's sparkly fun fur ear cover - nice huh?

There were 20 total Aussies competing. The #1 Aussie didn't come as she is totally out of coat. Deuce is #2.
aussie lineup
There were a few really nice dogs that I hadn't seen before. Deuce looked great and showed her heart out as she always does!
Deuce stack
Deuce - baiting
The judge was asking all the handlers to "take it easy" on the go arounds, which Deuce doesn't do well - she likes to go, and it shows off her wonderful sidegait. So, she didn't get to really show her as she wanted. We were disappointed, but a few drinks at TGI Fridays solved many a frustration. All in all it was a wonderful time. After her turn in the ring, Deuce relaxed and socialized with her fans.
Deuce relaxing
She had about 5-10 people around her for the next few hours. She ate it up!

Even though I wasn't showing a dog, I came back to the hotel exhausted every night. The dogs have to remain in the building until 8pm even if your dog showed at 9am and didn't win. It is so the public can see all the different breeds. So, you can guess what the line to get out looked like at 8pm. There is one freight elevator, so everyone waits in line to get out. What a production! There are no chairs allowed in the benching area, so I stood for most of the day except when I was watching breed competitions. I did manage to get a little knitting in on the Broken Cable Rib sock both on the ride down and while watching breed. I have the leg done and am starting on the heel. I hope to have most of it done on the ride down to Maryland today.

So, there is laundry, unpacking and repacking to do. I'll have a more knitterly post on my return from Maryland on Tuesday! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!