Judge Change of the Best in Show Competition for the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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New York, NY — The Westminster Kennel Club announces that Ms. Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart of Bowmansville, Pennsylvania, will replace Mr. Geir Flyckt-Pedersen and select the Best in Show winner at the 147th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on May 9, 2023.

Ms. Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart head photo
Ms. Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart

Ms. Elizabeth Sweigart was born on Long Island and has been involved with dogs all her life. First, with the Labrador Retrievers that her father used for duck hunting on Great South Bay, and later, after marriage, she started breeding and showing Labradors under the Yarrow prefix in the 1960s. She started breeding Norwich and Norfolk terriers in the 1970s and Affenpinschers in the 1990s. Ms. Sweigart has bred National Specialty, Best in Show winners, and top-ranked dogs.

As a highly successful professional handler, she piloted dogs to Westminster Group wins in the Terrier, Toy, and Sporting Groups. She handled top-winning Toy and Sporting dogs in the U.S. and the number one dog all-breeds Ch. Cracknor Cause Celebre, a Norfolk Terrier who also won Best in Show at Crufts Dog Show in 2005.

Ms. Elizabeth Sweigart is approved to judge the Sporting, Terrier, and Toy groups, and several Working, Herding, and Non-Sporting breeds, Best in Show, and Junior Showmanship. This will be her sixth judging assignment at Westminster, including the Sporting Group in 2018.

  • The Westminster Kennel Club, established in 1877, is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of dogs. It hosts the iconic, all-breed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the second-longest, continuously held sporting event in the U.S., and since 1948, the longest nationally televised live dog show. The annual dog show—a conformation competition for purebred dogs—and the Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship— where dogs from all backgrounds are eligible to compete—make Westminster Week with its nearly 3,000 dogs from the U.S. and around the world a pinnacle experience for any dog lover. America’s Dog Show has captivated canine enthusiasts for more than a century with its educational benched format, where the public can engage with more than 200 breeds of dogs in New York City. The Club’s mission, which enhances the lives of all dogs, celebrates the companionship of dogs, promotes responsible dog ownership, and breed preservation.

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