PEDIGREE® Food For Dogs, Progressive Insurance, Subaru return as partners of the Westminster Kennel Club on USA; Six Newly Recognized Breeds Make their Debut
NEW YORK – February 1, 2011 – USA Network announced today that the 135th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW, presented by PEDIGREE® Food For Dogs, will air February 14th and 15th at 8/7c. David Frei will be co-hosting with NBC Sports analyst Mary Carillo. Also joining the team will be NBC Sports’ Tiffany Simons as a sideline reporter. On Monday, February 14, USA will air the first hour of the show at 8pm and will then switch over to CNBC for the 9-11pm ET/PT portion of the broadcast. On Tuesday, February 15, USA will air all three hours, including the crowning of the 2010 Best in Show, from 8-11pm ET/PT.
David Frei joins the show for the 22nd consecutive year in his role as co-host. Frei is a longtime breeder-owner-handler and judge in the world of purebred dogs, he has enjoyed much competitive success with his Afghan Hounds, Brittanys and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. With Westminster, Frei helped to create Angel On A Leash, a charitable activity supporting therapy dog programs at health care facilities around the country. He has also been co-host on NBC’s “The National Dog Show” on Thanksgiving Day since its inception. Returning to the show as co-host this year is NBC Sports staple, Mary Carillo, who previously co-hosted the show in 2009. Carillo has served as host and reporter at numerous Olympic games and is a long-time tennis analyst. She played on the professional tennis tour from 1977-80. Teaming with McEnroe, whom she grew up with, Carillo won the 1977 French Open mixed doubles title.
This year, Westminster introduces six exciting new breeds officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. The versatile Boykin Spaniel, the official state dog of South Caroline, joins the Sporting Group; the athletic Bluetick Coonhound and the courageous Redbone Coonhound join the Hound Group; the robust Cane Corso, an ancient Italian Breed and the elegant Leonberger join the Working Group; and the agile Icelandic Sheepdog joins the Herding Group.
A total of 2,597 dogs and 128 Junior Showmanship entered the competition this year, representing a total of 179 breeds. Dogs will be travelling from all 49 states, Washington D.C. and Canada. For the first time since 1998, New York leads California with the most entries.
The highest entry breed this year is the Rhodesian Ridgeback with 56. Other top entries include Golden Retrievers (46), French Bulldogs (44), Vizslas (40), Australian Shepherds (39), Labrador Retrievers (38), German Shorthaired Pointers (36), Pugs (33), and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (31).
Monday’s Group competition includes Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding followed by Sporting, Working, Terrier Groups, and the crowning of Best in Show on Tuesday.
This year, Best in Show judge is Paola Dondina from Monterchi, Italy. He heads a panel of 32 judges from 15 states and three foreign countries.
PEDIGREE® Food For Dogs returns to Westminster as presenting sponsor for the fifth consecutive year and, as part of their in-show integration, will present an on-air PSA aimed at raising funds for the PEDIGREE Foundation, a non-profit organization that benefits shelters and breed rescues nationwide.. For the first time in WKC history, the PEDIGREE ® Brand will be the sole sponsor of USA’s new social media initiative WKC Character Chatter, which provides fans with a central hub for chatting with other dog fans about all the WKC action on chatter.usanetwork.com. Progressive Insurance and Subaru also return to the show as participating sponsors. To celebrate this year’s show, USA has created a Character Story vignette featuring a Subaru owner sharing her story on why Subaru is the best car for her and her dog
The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all breed, benched dog show held every year at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The show is America’s second longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. For additional information, log on to http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org.