Editorial: July 1, 2022
What can be said? Another Westminster has come and gone, leaving its own unique experience and memories. For the second consecutive year, it was held at one of the most beautiful outdoor venues, the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. Once again, the deity that protects Westminster worked its magic and the rain was never an issue. When the January show was postponed because of Covid, the annual Purina® Pro Plan® Showdogs of The Year Awards Dinner partnered with Dog News, long associated with the Westminster week, was also cancelled. Thanks to the generosity of the members of the Westminster Kennel Club, we were able to host a cocktail party on the Lyndhurst Estate following the Monday breed judging. There we belatedly celebrated the accomplishments of the top-winning dogs of 2021 and the breeder-owner-handler, judge, professional handler, top obedience dog and junior handler of the year. A special award was given to the Westminster Kennel Club for their leadership and commitment with scholarships and other works to promote purebred dogs. The postponed presentation of these awards was announced previously, but the one award that was not announced until that evening was the 2021 inductee to the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame, the very worthy and deserving Dave Helming, who did not know about the honor until that very moment. It was a special moment that brought the audience to their feet in recognition of all his good works. An unassuming man who shies from the limelight, Dave has worked tirelessly for many show-giving clubs, like the Somerset Hills, Westchester, Philadelphia, and Morris and Essex kennel clubs, serving in many different capacities up to and until this moment as co-chairman of the Westminster Kennel Club. There is no one more deserving of this award than Dave, for he has given back much more than he has received. Well done, my friend.
The show itself ran smoothly as the well-oiled machine that it is, thanks to the hard work of president Darrell Crate and co-show chairs Dave Helming and David Haddock. Not to mention the office headed by operations manager Florence Foti, Linda Duane and Kramer Lindsley.
The seven group winners were all worthy of the top prize, and Best in Show judge Don Sturz was thorough and efficient as he went over each dog and selected the French Bulldog as his Reserve winner and the Bloodhound as his Best in Show winner to the roar of the crowd. So whether urban or suburban, indoor or outdoor, another great Westminster is in the books. And when it was all over, yes, it did rain on the drive home.