Dog Show Community and WKC Exhibitors share opinions, experiences, and stories from the 146th Westminster Kennel Club Show 2022, that was held in Lyndhurst Mansion, in Westchester, New York.
1. Tell us about your experience with 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Were you there? Did you watch the live-streaming and nightly broadcasts?
Diana Christine: First time exhibiting (owner handler) his third time attending (and second AOM)! Rainy, exciting, scary, exhilarating, rewarding, memorable.
Kristen Deblasio: We were there. We had our top special, unable to compete at the last minute on Friday so we were bummed because he was our favorite to win Breed. We still had three others entered, a veteran (his mom), a puppy (his little brother), and his niece. Much to our surprise, all three made the cut, his brother got an AOM (1-year-old, second time showing outside) and his mom, the veteran, won the coveted Best of Breed! To say the least, we were over the moon!
Jane Graham: We were there—first time entered—it was a wonderful day.
Katharine Baptiste: My first time exhibiting at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I’ve been attending in person for over ten years (minus the pandemic year and 2021). I was excited. For me, it was all about the experience with my dog. We haven’t shown together since our National in April. I was completely surprised and humbled to receive an AOM. A memory I will cherish always.
Belinda Lanphear: I watched the live-streaming and, for the second year in a row, the Basset Hound community was disheartened by the judge’s pick for the BOB winner.
Terrie Houck: I did attend 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I came with my Miniature Schnauzer special, BIS MRBIS MBIS GCHP Mystique’s Knock Out, otherwise known as “Rocky.” I enjoyed the live-streaming and also being able to go back to watch the videos of the breeds I am interested in again after the show concluded. The venue for the evening Groups was amazing and the coverage was super exciting to watch.
Cheryl Mika: Dogwood Hollow Brittanys was honored to receive Select Dog at the 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with Am/Can GrChG Dogwood Hollow Flashstorm MH CA CGC TKN. WKC recreated the floor of Madison Square Garden so well that you forgot you were at Lyndhurst!
Terrie Strom: This is the first time I have attended with a dog. This is a dog that I bred and we were in the Top 5 for our breed, so we received an invitation. I drove 40 hours, coast to coast, to take my Great Pyrenees. When we arrived, I was in awe of the show site. The grass was so green; not so much here in California. I walked around for two days with “EJ,” my Great Pyrenees, to experience Westminster. My friends flew in. It was an experience of a lifetime. We watched the Groups back at our hotel in the lobby with other fanciers. It was like watching the Super Bowl. Met new fanciers and made new friends.
2. If you attended the 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, how did you like the Lyndhurst location? Do you miss going to Westminster in Manhattan?
Diana Christine: Manhattan is a nightmare; parking, getting to/from the Piers, its FREEZING on the waterfront and very, very cramped. Lyndhurst was spacious, beautiful, (not climate controlled, but well-tented) and overall a much more pleasant experience as an exhibitor.
Mallory Cosby Driskill: Enjoyed going this year. Parking and getting in went well. The only drawback is the lack of ALL exhibitors having the opportunity to attend the Groups. Unless you were “connected” or won BOB, you could not experience the Groups.
Kathy Schwabe: Absolutely love it! A little rain did not in any way dampen my enthusiasm for this location! As much as I miss the tradition and grandeur of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at the Garden—it’s been seriously lacking a lot of the sparkle at the Piers; and dealing with Manhattan in the winter leaves a lot to be desired! My vote is to STAY in Westchester! Westminster at Westchester!
Melisa Lindgren Tiffany: Keep it at Lyndhurst! So much better. Just add grooming, then it would be PERFECTION!
Drew Styring: I loved it! But my feelings are mixed. Yes, the site and the grounds are amazing, but there is nothing like a dog show held at Madison Square Garden.
Katie Cecilio: Lyndhurst is beautiful, and I feel it’s less stressful for the dogs and, at least some of, the people! My main concern is the weather. Even a little rain makes preparing our dogs a complete PITA. Should it rain enough, the hilly grounds would be impossible to traverse. I’ve been told that when there used to be shows held there regularly, rain would mean cancellation.
I also miss the benching, and the opportunity it provides for public outreach and education!
Amanda Shea: Lyndhurst is much easier on the handlers and the dogs.
Jelena Kreitmayer: I loved it. You never see ten broadcast trucks and three grip trucks at just any show, lol. The atmosphere wasnt like any other show, inside or outside. Loved, loved, loved it.
Don’t mind the rain at all—makes the dogs more relatable to Joe Public who already thinks that the dogs can’t be touched and sleep on the silk pillow in their mansion. And, tbh, shows off the true structure. Mine is a coated breed, btw.
Bernee Brawn: Lyndhurst is beautiful, but miss the Groups at the Garden and all the fans yelling for their favorites. That is what made Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show not just another dog show.
Kayla Phillips: I absolutely loved it at Lyndhurst. It was extremely enjoyable, still electricity of excitement in the air, and just an all-around better environment for the dogs.
Sunshine Gipson: I love, love, love the outdoor venue! I hope it stays there always! So much more room and the stress level is so much lower without so many people cramped into a small area. The comfort to set up at our own vehicles and have the dogs out enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s just lovely.
Suzie Schafer: City, in February. There are numerous national specialties in June that make this date difficult. February was great for starting a new hopeful dog and equally great for those who are retiring. Traffic is traffic. Our sport deserves the captive audience that a benched dog show brings, and that MSG allows in the evening.
Jennifer Jones: This was my first time having a dog compete and the location is the only reason I went. I was a spectator in NYC a few years ago and will never go back. I hope it’s at Lyndhurst again next year, so if my dog qualifies again, we’ll go again.
Elaine McKean Berg: I have not attended, but would like to ask those who exhibit: Which venue do you think is nicer for the dogs, especially considering that it is a benched show? When it is in February and there is limited potty areas (x-pens), etc. Where would you rather be?
Jamie McKay: Lyndhurst is a wonderful site and I hope the agility trial remains there.
Shawny Cirincione: I don’t miss Manhattan at all! It was a beautiful show. Keep it at Lyndhurst! I did hear that Westminster signed a three-year deal with Lyndhurst. Boy, I hope it is true!
Joe Guinta: Lyndhurst is beautiful and Westminster did a great job considering the circumstances. I still hope it moves back to Manhattan. Nothing compares to watching it in the Garden.
Anna Lee: Hated taking my dog into the city. NYC is a great place to visit, but never, ever again with a dog, but would love to see it stay at Lyndhurst and would go again as both an exhibitor and a spectator.
Jennifer Lynn Buckmaster: I LOVED Lyndhurst. I’ve never been to Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show before, but the idea of outside New York City, outside, in June really appeals to me. The idea of inside, IN NYC, in winter? Does not. Quite frankly, I’m not going to attend a “traditional” Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show until I have a dog that gets an invitation. Which means I probably won’t be back for a while. But if WKC was willing to do a kind of “Summer Olympics” at Lyndhurst every summer? I would enter every single year, and attend happily the years I got in. The location is beautiful. The weather was perfect. I was able to get by going on a budget. And it was an amazing, amazing experience that I would happily repeat.
Yes, I can understand that some people think the win is “less meaningful” if it’s not at Madison Square Gardens. Having never been to Madison Square? I disagree. It’s not the venue that makes the win meaningful. It’s the level of competition, the quality of the entry, and the people around you that make the win meaningful, in my eyes.
Susan Wyant Pickerill: I attended last year and found it much more enjoyable than Manhattan.
Christine Hamill: The site is beautiful! So much better for the dogs and handlers! And much easier to get to. The club did a fantastic job making it look great!
Lyn Bianchi: I went to the conformation show at Lyndhurst this year just to watch. It was a bit rainy and I felt badly for the exhibitors showing coated dogs. The judge for my Terrier breed also moved them under a bit of an overhang, so they wouldn’t get wet. They still had to gait in the rain, however. Wednesday, the weather was really bad. The weather is always very unpredictable. Inside with real heat, A/C, and bathrooms is my preference. I also agree with those who feel that some of the “glamour” is missing. Manhattan would be my choice. Even if it was done in June to avoid the possibility of snow. I do agility, and while I was not entered, I would NOT want to be running outside in extreme heat with my dog. It puts dogs and handlers at risk.
Meg Smith: I, personally, prefer Lyndhurst just due to traveling with multiple/big dogs. I’ve done both and enjoyed both, but NYC is very stressful on exhibitors and dogs alike. Plus, we can exercise dogs and not pay a fortune to do it in a tiny basement room in the hotel.
Nicole Pollack: I’ve been to both locations and Lyndhurst was an absolute pleasure! I felt the grounds still had the excitement and energy of Westminster. SO much easier than NYC; easier for us, less stressful for the dogs. The shuttle is a nightmare, especially when you are trying to leave with both dogs and equipment, and everyone is so crabby and tired. Lyndhurst was a much friendlier venue. I think change is ok… Honestly, I will never go back to Westminster if it’s in NYC. I will gladly enter at Lyndhurst. Someone mentioned weather—nothing was worse than the blizzard that happened years ago. Some feedback: There needs to be a better bathroom situation (the fancy ones near the food tent were great, the port-o-potties, no thank you.) I’d love to see more vendors, and I’d love to be able to take a peek in the big tent. Thank you to all involved for a lovely experience this year!
H.I. Smith: I will actually consider going to Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, as one of the reasons I would NOT go is that I had no desire to go to Manhattan. Lyndhurst looks like a much nicer show experience!
Meg Callea: Yes and no… I love having my Dalmatian shown the way they should be shown in a ring big enough to move correctly. We got that at the Piers. I do like that it is a bit more casual, sorta. I like that I can rent a car and not depend on taxis, and the dogs have good walking (potty) space. (Watch out for ticks, though!) With that said… I love being in the city for sure! Will I go back to Lyndhurst? You betcha, sure! As long as we have a reasonable judge. I sure would love to have a breeder-judge or someone who knows and cares about our breed. Not that his year’s judging for the most part was bad.
Angelique Pinard Burns: Lyndhurst is beautiful; the weather is unpredictable and logistics need to be figured out: Going with an exhibitor was a challenge to get to grooming, get set up, no bathing, and run on generators. Getting to and from your vehicle wasn’t easy, and very long walks. And to fully exit the grounds to pick up with all the traffic incoming… If you can figure all that out, I believe it’s a lot better than NYC.
Brendan Coleman: Feels like nothing special—just another outdoor dog show. Manhattan made it special and it was tradition.
Barbara Eymard: I love Lyndhurst. I do not miss New York in February.
Beth Fahr Vanselous: Loved it here, would much rather here than in the city… no parking fees, beautiful time of year, and no snowstorms. Keep it in Tarrytown.
Sandy Kiesewetter: Lyndhurst is so much easier to attend with the dogs. I do miss the benching, though.
Nancy Anstruther: I prefer the city, hands down.
Heather Craig Everett: I’ve never been, but hope to one day. I so hope it stays at Lyndhurst! It’s beautiful and not in a giant, loud, crowded city!
Nikkie Kinziger: I absolutely DO NOT miss MSG! Having dogs, one has to LOVE Lyndhurst and all the GRASS!
Jennifer Holmberg Baggenstos: It was a beautiful site and show, but definitely felt like just another show. And as someone who had to show their coated dog on Wednesday afternoon in the rain, I really wish it would go back to the city.
Deb Wedderman: NYC is not the same as it was. I’d much rather Lyndhurst.
Natalia Backos: It was my first Westminster experience, and it just felt like a regular outdoor show; slightly less stressful? But with the rain, it wasn’t as nice.
Anne Micciche Coy: I prefer Lyndhurst simply because I hate NYC traffic, and I despise it even more in the winter. Bonus: Lyndhurst is only an hour drive for me!
Sharon Onorato Utych: Parking is awful.
Cindy Fendt: Keep it at Lyndhurst.
Becky Davis: It feels like “just a dog show.” Nothing beats the Garden.
Penny Kroh: I prefer the glamour, tradition, and class that IS the Lyndhurst Estate.
Janet Riding-Leiper: I wish it was back in Manhattan. It had a lot more class there even during the BOB events. At Lyndhurst, it was like another dog show.
Johnston Danielle: I would never want to go to the Garden with my dogs. I prefer to avoid the city.
Meegan Lorraine PT: Historically, I think there’s something incredibly iconic about showing in New York City. That being said, I think exhibitors and, more importantly, the dogs are much happier and more comfortable in the beautiful setting of the Lynhurst estate.
Lian Chase: I was at Lyndhurst last year and it functioned much more like a “real” show, at the castle, rather than the city.
Kim Stanton: Lyndhurst in June!
Michelle Ridenour: It’s a fancy dog show; the grounds are great and it’s more exhibitor- and dog-friendly. That being said, it’s not “Westminster.” You don’t have the spectacle and the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus, just the NYC experience. It felt more like Morris and Essex, etc.
Garnett Preston Persinger: I prefer Lyndhurst.
Sarah Elizabeth Wade: I think it should remain at Lyndhurst until the Piers, closer to the Garden, are fixed.
Loutercreek: Everyone we talked to at the show loved it so much better! It was the best Westminster ever!
Jennifer Casola: Lyndhurst!
Jaye Dubman: The city and back to February! June messes with show schedules.
Emily Rose Cunningham: Lyndhurst, ALL the way! Especially in June! NYC in February is miserable and awful. June in NY is a delight.
Laurie Jeff Greer: Lyndhurst, hands down.
Talia Addeo: Lyndhurst 100%. So much less chaotic than the city and makes your experience way more engaging. I loved being able to get up close to the ring for breed judging and getting to actually speak to owners, handlers, etc.
Esther Kostelnik: Love Lyndhurst. Would like Westminster to stay there!
Emily Peacock: I do not miss Manhattan or blowing snow! June in Tarrytown is just perfect.
Vigoreaux Bordeaux: Love Lyndhurst. Did it two years in a row; first and last time in 2011 at MSG for the whole show. NYC, NY: Nowhere to potty dogs, too crowded to get a large dog to the ring; hotels were pricier. I loved the drive to Lyndhurst: Dogs were more relaxed, and people were more relaxed and friendlier.
Terrie Houck: The past two years at the Lyndhurst location has been terrific. We lucked out with the weather for the most part, and the coordination of getting exhibitors in and out of the grounds went off without a hitch, as far as I could tell. The show site was set up nicely, with plenty of room under the ring tents. The town of Tarrytown is charming and the local restaurants are so diverse with delicious menus. However, I am ready to get back to Manhattan and the history and opulence that is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Cheryl Mika: Lyndhurst is an amazing location for any dog show and you could see that WKC worked very hard to make it a wonderful experience. However, I would have liked the rings to be bigger to show off the Brittany’s big side gait. I think only Madison Square Garden has the electricity that I love and associate with this prestigious show; however, the show must go on, and kudos to WKC for working everything out.
Terrie Strom: I really liked the Lynhurst location for several reasons. The show felt like I was at a normal show which took my nerves down a notch. The grounds were beautiful! It was very easy to get to and from our hotel. There was parking. You could groom at your car. It was very convenient. We toured the mansion. It is close enough to drive into the city, so you could still see the sights. Even though it rained during our ring time, the weather worked out so well. No snow. It wasn’t dangerous to drive. I hope they have it at Lynhurst next year. The downside is it not the “Garden.” Spectators could not go to watch the Groups. I wasn’t in the Groups, but I imagine the feeling wasn’t the same as walking into the arena at Madison Square Garden.
3. What are your plans to receive an invitation to next year’s show? How are you going to achieve your goals?
Cathy Kaiser: First of all, it would take a week for me to pick myself up off the floor. I would go from there.
Maura Ptacek: Tune my dogs up—more exercise for them and ME! And pray, light candles, witchcraft, etc.
Terrie Houck: I am actually taking it easy this year. “Rocky” was due to retire after the Garden in February. Since Westminster was postponed, I did not begin a new special, as I was still committed to him. However, I do have a personal favorite that I will be rooting for. It is a partnership I orchestrated, since I could not take on another special, and I am hopeful they will continue to do well this year.
Cheryl Mika: Dogwood Hollow has several young dogs that are currently being shown by their owners. Hopefully, some will go to WKC next year. Everyone should have the Westminster experience—there is nothing like it.
Terrie Strom: Being there with an invitation. Icing on the cake was a rosette, and even better was a Select Dog rosette! And my friends flew in from California to share the experience.
4. What was the most memorable 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show moment for you?
Diana Christine: Making two cuts and taking AOM with my pet as an amateur owner-handler of six months in one of the hardest rings in conformation.
Izzy Burg: Being able to have watched “Panda” when he was super young grow into a stunning boy, as well as knowing how incredibly strong his handler, Stacy, loves him, to then watching their dreams come true, competing in the Group ring.
Robin Gates: Spending the time with friends! For Manchesters, breeders and owners are few and far between, so when we can get this many together… it is fabulous.
Sierra Mayo: Watching my best friend, Nikkei Lyons, compete!
Leslie Crawford: Seeing the English Setter win the Group!
Sharon Onorato Utych: For me, my veteran Cavalier, making two cuts and ending up in the final line-up.
Sharon Ferguson: Being there in person to watch the agility championships!
Alexandria Mitchell: Making it to the “BIG Ring” with my Bestest Boy. Hearing the crowd cheer for us. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
“…THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AND KUDOS TO WKC FOR WORKING EVERYTHING OUT.”