The most exciting part of the Westminster Dog Show is absolutely the Best in Groups and Best in Show. The atmosphere is completely different than during the day! After spending the entire day watching Best in Breed classes, everyone leaves until about 8pm when the Best in Group classes begin.
A bit of background info for those of you who don’t know. There are 7 groups of dogs, based on what they were bred to do. During the day, dogs compete with other dogs of the same breed. The dog that wins the Best in Breed then competes in the Best in Group with every other Best in Breed winner of that group. Then, the dog that wins the Best in Group competes with the 6 other group winners for Best in Show! And the rest is history : )
In the evening, the arena is no longer broken down into four individual rings…it’s one large ring with a sign for each individual breed, where that dog stands. What I found interesting was that those signs are actually boxes in which handlers can put supplies in….drool rags, toys, treats. The audience fills the auditorium and I’ll tell ya, when all of the dogs walk in for the Best in Group, it’s awesome. Everyone cheers and all the dogs trot in and to their respective signs. We would watch as the judge looked over each dog, then picked his favorites to trot around the ring one more time, then Best in Group is chosen! The handler and dog is always so excited, what a feat to accomplish!
But the best part of the show, hands down, was Best in Show. The lights go down, each dog walks in individually as it’s announced, and the crowd cheers loudly for their favorite! I’d lie if I said I didn’t get chills. And for any of you who watched, you know the Scottish Deerhound, Hickory, took the title of Best in Show. I had been cheering for her all along, what a sweet dog, well deserving of the title!