A strange andwonderful assortment of dogs makes up an all-breed dog show. Some are new andalmost unknown, like the Rhodesian ridgeback; others, such as the beagle andthe collie, are familiar companions in any suburban neighborhood. But theversatile poodle, acceptable in the show ring in several solid colors andavailable in three handy sizes—toy, miniature and standard—was both the mostand the best last week at the Westminster Kennel Club's 80th Annual Dog Show atMadison Square Garden in New York. The tri-sized poodles had 192representatives present and from their ranks emerged the dog of utmost quality,a white toy named Wilber White Swan.
A member of thetoy group had never before captured a best-in-show at the Westminster. WilberWhite Swan's precedent-setting victory was sweetened by the fact that the toypoodle has been recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club only since1942. His larger relatives had already attained the honor, a standard poodlehaving been picked in 1935 and a miniature in 1943. Seemingly a newcomer, thetoy poodle actually has been a European favorite for centuries, and now in thiscountry the bred-down dog is enjoying a wave of popularity, along with hisstill-unrecognized particolored cousins (SI, Sept. 6, '54).
For the winnerand for the 2,559 other dogs entered in the show (108 breeds), the Westminsterwas, as always, a hectic and tension-filled 48 hours. During the breedeliminations casual crowds ebbed and flowed around the 12 rings; some dogs leftpanic puddles on the Garden floor; and a distraught woman, a leash in her hand,rushed to the edge of one ring only to discover her dog no longer attached.
To sort,eliminate and finally select the best-of-breeds and, ultimately, thebest-in-show, 45 judges deliberated during more than 25 hours. As the choicesnarrowed, experience as well as quality began to tell: of the six finalists forbest-in-show, five were veteran campaigners which had been considered good betsbefore Westminster opened (SI, Feb. 13).
February 27, 1956
For the 20,000who attended the show this was a notable and well managed spectacle; for the200,000-odd who saw it on TV it was slightly less, thanks to the franticinsertion of commercials at critical moments. Even the commercials, however,could not quite spoil the grand climax in which the six superb finalistscircled the floor at various speeds, inviting the scrutiny and approval ofJudge Paul Palmer. The Bloodhound, Ch. Fancy Bombardier, lumbered magnificentlybeside his owner-handler, Tom Sheahan; the English setter, Ch. Rock FallsColonel, moved with the floating grace and assurance of a dog which has broughtOwner William T. Holt "best" awards in 100 shows; Mr. and Mrs. JohnWagner's boxer, Ch. Baroque of Quality Hill, the only bitch in the finalcompetition, strode assertively beside Handler Phil Marsh; Pennyworth andClair-dale Kennels' white imported standard poodle, Ch. Alfonco von derGoldenen Kette, pranced proudly next to Robert Forsyth; Mrs. Robert Choate'sSealyham terrier, Ch. Robin Hill Brigade, marched beside Handler JosephThompson; and Mrs. Bertha Smith's white toy poodle trotted gaily along withHandler Anne Hone Rogers. By the time each dog had been studied both at paradeand pose, a genuinely electric air of excitement had been generated. As JudgePalmer, a tall man, completed his final inspection, a ringsider guessed: "Abig man like that probably can't stand small dogs."
But Palmer walkedto the table, signed the book and returned with the rosette for the toy.
Ch. Wilber WhiteSwan, who is known as "Peanuts" at home in Beth-page, posing proudly atthe moment of presentation, suddenly dove to the floor in panic as Anne HoneRogers shrieked her delight. Both regained their poise in time to accept thecustomary homage. This continued for some time, but finally the last flashbulbpopped and, tired but triumphant, Anne Hone Rogers left the floor carrying sixpounds of Peanuts in a large silver bowl.
OTHER RESULTS AT WESTMINSTER
Maltese Ch. Isolda of Villa Malta, Ch. Ricco of Villa Malta, Rudi of VillaMalta and Bora of Villa Malta, owned by Dr. and Mrs. Vincenzo Calvaresi.
Keeshonden Ch. Dirdon's Helder Zwier, C.D. and Ch. Dirdon's Wonder WanderHocage, owned by Marye E. Picone.
1st: toy poodle Ch. Wilber White Swan, owned by Mrs. Bertha Smith. 2nd:Yorkshire terrier Ch. Star Twilight of Clu-Mor, owned by Mrs. Leslie Gordon Jr.and Miss Janet Bennett. 3rd: Pekingese Caversham Ko Ko of Shanruss, owned bythe Seafren Kennels. 4th: Maltese Ch. Brittigan's Dark Eyes, owned by Anne andStewart Pendleton. Best Brace: Pugs Pugholms Little Jack Horner and PugholmsLittle Miss Muffet--Frederic and Elizabeth Soderberg. Best Team: Maltese Ch.Isolda of Villa Malta, Ch. Ricco of Villa Malta, Rudi of Villa Malta, and Boraof Villa Malta--Dr. and Mrs. Vincenzo Calvaresi.
1st: standard poodle Ch. Alfonco von der Goldenen Kette, owned by Pennyworthand Clairedale Kennels. 2nd: French bulldog Ch. Bouquet Nouvelle Ami, owned byMr. and Mrs. Ralph M. West. 3rd: Dalmation Ch. Roadcoach Roadster, owned byMrs. S. K. Allman Jr. 4th: chowchow Ch. Wupei Nagyur-Tut, owned by Ledgeland'sKennels.
1st: bloodhound Ch. Fancy Bombardier, owned by Tom and Pearl Sheahan. 2nd:Afghan Crown Crest Rubi, owned by Ruth Tongren. 3rd: 15-inch beagle Ch. KinsmanJimmy Valentine, owned by Lee S. Wade. 4th: basset Ch. Siefenjagenheim LazyBones, owned by Chris G. Teeter.
1st: boxer Ch. Baroque of Quality Hill, owned by Mr. and Mrs. John P. Wagner.2nd: rough collie Ch. Jorie's Mr. G, owned by Jorie Kennels. 3rd: Dobermanpinscher Ch. Harding's Faust, owned by Patricia and Clair Stille. 4th: PembrokeWelsh corgi Ch. Lee's Symphony, owned by estate of Mrs. J. Donald Duncan.
1st: Sealyham terrier Ch. Robin Hill Brigade, owned by Mrs. Robert B. Choate.2nd: Airedale Ch. Aireline Star Monarch, owned by Charles W. March. 3rd:miniature schnauzer Ch. Benrook Randy, owned by Maryann Vann. 4th: Scottishterrier Ch. Rebel Invader, owned by Dr. and Mrs. W. Stewart Carter.
1st: English setter Ch. Rock Falls Colonel, owned by William T. Holt. 2nd:ASCOB cocker spaniel Ch. Eufaula's Dividend, owned by C. E. Dimon. 3rd: goldenretriever Ch. Golden Knoll's Copper Prince, owned by Mary Ellen Hogewoning.4th: English cocker spaniel Ch. Elblac's Bugle of Hastern, owned by MurielQuigley.