The 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opened Tuesday with the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups. Day 1 delivered all of the fast-paced, tense action viewers have come to expect from the event held annually at Madison Square Garden. Which is to say, very little unless you're a dog enthusiast. For everyone else, awws were had, starting with the hounds:
American Foxhound Pandora's Box took home Best of Breed honors over the likes of Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, a Basset Hound, and Maggie May, a Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeen. The Foxhound was bred to (get this) hunt foxes. It also happens to be the state dog in the great state of Virginia.
Next were the Toys, distinguished less by their function and more by their size. These dogs can be smaller versions of larger breeds. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari (real name), an Affenpinscher, won the event over a Miniature Pinscher, a Pekingese and a Pomeranian. A Pug named Tag I'm It appeared to be the crowd favorite, but alas finished fourth.
The non-sporting group is perhaps the most diverse of the show's seven groups. The designation is essentially a catch-all, featuring everything from the American Bulldog to the French Poodle. This year, a Bichon Frise named Pillowtalk earned the right to compete for Best in Show from the group. He beat out a motley crew consisting of a Standard Poodle, French Bulldog (another crowd favorite) and a Tibetan Spaniel.
The herding group wrapped up the night. An Old English Sheep Dog named Swagger pulled off a big upset, beating out more exotic breeds like the Puli, Beauceron and Canaan Dog. The Old English hasn't historically been a big winner at the Westminster Dog Show, but he'll be among the final competitors Tuesday.
You can check out the full results, along photos of the top four finishers in each group, over at the official site of the Westminster Kennel Club. On Tuesday, we'll find out who wins the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups, not to mention Best in Show. Stay tuned, there is a lot more excitement to come!