Westminster Show 12 February 2013

The show was held, surprisingly, in two different venues in New York. The breed classes were held in halls at The Piers and the Groups were held in the evening at Madison Square Gardens. We attended both events

At the Piers in the morning, there were only 23 Irish Setters entered. The venue was very smartly decorated in Purple, Gold and Green and all the benches were immaculately painted in purple and gold. Each ring was enclosed with beautiful ring ropes and brass stands (Crufts take note this was really impressive!)

A lot of the dogs exhibited were professionally handled and were benched in a separate handlers section which was confusing. Almost everyone had a grooming table set up and also portable hair dryer units. The setters spent a lot of time on the grooming tables and were presented to perfection. Not one wavy coat was on view- all coats were ultra fine, very straight and very long.

We were only able to access the Irish ring on two sides as the back was reserved for people with wrist bands? (presumably judges, stewards) and we didn't have them. As a result it was very crowded around the ring and difficult to take any photos at all as the dogs were stacked up for the judge on the spectator side of the ring rather than the far side so we could see. Only official photographers were allowed in the ring.

Best of Breed was GCH Northwinds First Reign. Best Opposite Sex was Ch. Crimsonacre Wind Chime

We attended the Gundog Group in the evening at Madison Square Gardens and it was a quite spectacular affair. The national anthem was sung by a group of Gospel Singers to start it off and then there was a Junior Handling final held. The spectators are very enthusiastic for their favourites, shouting and clapping as the dog and handler moved round the ring, quite different from the UK.

The gundog group followed and each dog had a marked plinth with its breed name on. Again there was loud applause and cheers for the spectators favoured ones. All of the dogs were presented to perfection. The group was won by a German Wirehaired Pointer. Unfortunately, this year the Irish wasn't placed in the group.

All in all we had a most enjoyable time attending the show athough the whole event was somewhat smaller than our Crufts and (avid shoppers take note) there were not many stands for shopping at the Piers and none at all at Madison Square Gardens which was disappointing for us!

See below the catalogue and we have made our photos into a slideshow to give you a feel of the American Irish Setters.

Westminster Show 12 February 2013


By Marita Bott and Diane Bridgwater