Westminster, Anyone? Tennis Center Proves an Ideal Site for Iconic Dog Show

Introduction & Photo by Dan Sayers
Westminster, Anyone? Tennis Center Proves an Ideal Site for Iconic Dog Show


Westminster, Anyone? Tennis Center Proves an Ideal Site for Iconic Dog Show

This year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was a match made in Heaven. Or was that Queens?

This year’s WKC proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the success of the venerated club’s all-breed dog show is not dependent on a midtown location or a mid-winter schedule. In fact, the revered organization has repeatedly proven in recent years that its dedicated members are exceptional problem-solvers and visionaries, capable of responding to any and all disruptions caused by construction delays, pandemic forays, and dog show clichés about when, where, and how the world’s best-known celebration of dogs is to be held. Unquestionably, Westminster (the club, the show, and the institution) is in very capable hands.

Westminster’s 147th Annual Dog Show, held on May 8-9, 2023 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadow Corona Park in Flushing, Queens, New York, will long be remembered with affection and gratitude for many reasons: its ease of access (by NYC standards); convenient indoor and outdoor facilities; thoughtful judging panel; and 2,637 entries in 210 individual Breeds and Varieties representing so many top dogs from across the US and around the world. And then there was the weather… clear skies, glorious sunshine, and a mild breeze to accompany exhibitors and spectators from ring to ring to ring. Perfection!

The dog show that everyone knows on a first name basis has managed to continue uninterrupted since The First Annual New York Bench Show of Dogs was held in the Hippodrome at Gilmore’s Garden in 1877. That single show proved such a success that it was extended to four days in order to accommodate 20,000 daily visitors, thus establishing the show’s standing among the general public.

The affection has continued ever since, despite changing opinions about the role of dogs in modern society. And although the show has changed venues multiple times, it has always connected with the public through communication technologies from radio and television to cable TV and Internet live streaming. This year, Westminster simply sauntered on as it always has—with the kind of style (and chutzpah) that defines a true New Yorker.

No matter where Westminster is held or when it takes place, one thing is assured: The show will always be a world-class event unlike any other, thanks to the efforts of the club’s members, the dedication of the exhibitors, and the devotion of the spectators sitting around the rings and watching from home. Westminster, anyone?

  • Dan Sayers covers the sport of dogs with a particular interest in purebred dog history and breed preservation. His articles feature notable icons of the past as well as individuals who work tirelessly to promote purebred dogs today. A self-taught artist, Dan’s work is represented in collections worldwide and his illustrations appear in the award-winning Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology by Ed and Pat Gilbert. Since 1981, Dan has been an exhibitor of several Sporting and Hound breeds. He’s bred Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix and judged Sweepstakes at the parent club’s National Specialty twice. Dan is a member of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America and the Morris and Essex Kennel Club.

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