Photos show what it's really like behind the scenes at the Westminster dog show
The 2023 Westminster Kennel Club crowned a new Best in Show winner on May 9.
The Westminster dog show has taken place for 147 years, and as such, it is a well-oiled machine.
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at this year's show.
As a dog lover, attending the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, which crowned its 147th Best in Show winner on May 9, has long been a dream. So, when presented with the opportunity to attend with dog-toy brand Playology, I jumped at the chance.
I was given a behind-the-scenes look at the competition floor, the grooming tent, the set where competitors would be interviewed, and more.
Keep scrolling to see more about my experience at Westminster.
I attended this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show on May 8 and got a behind-the-scenes look at the prestigious competition.
Around 2,500 dogs from 210 breeds traveled to New York City's Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to compete for the Best in Show title — I couldn't wait to meet some of them.
First, I checked out some of the outdoor rings where each breed was being judged. It was hot in the sun, but luckily the dogs were in the shade.
As I made my way around, I came across a few corgis waiting for their turn in the ring.
Entering the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest arena at the complex, I saw the purple carpet where winners would be taken for portraits.
I made my way to the competition floor, which is just for dogs and their handlers. Here's a view from the entrance — it was a sight to behold.
I saw the famous podium where the eventual Best in Show winner, Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen, would take photos after being crowned on May 9.
Of course, I watched the competitions too. In this case, I saw the Pomeranians lined up with their coats fluffed to perfection.
At the edge of the performance area, I saw where the dogs were waiting for their turn. This Japanese chin was cool as a cucumber perched on top of its kennel.
In general, the event seemed like well-organized chaos. Dogs and handlers were everywhere, but no one was stressed. It was also very quiet, with only scattered applause. It felt a little like watching a tennis match.
Next, I got a peek at the Ready Room, a bright-purple room with white couches where winners and their handlers would be interviewed on Fox Sports.
I made my way to the grooming tent. It was hot outside, so many of the dogs were napping and getting fanned. This cavalier King Charles spaniel had the right idea.
In the tent, I also saw poodles being trimmed in the classic competition style, with balls of fur on each paw.
There were travel cages and kennels everywhere, making the grooming tent seem like a maze.
But competitors seemed happy to be there. This dog gave me a huge smile and lots of kisses when I introduced myself.
I also noticed just how much fur was being shed. Someone with dog allergies would not have a great time at Westminster.
Overall, the dogs were getting treated better than humans. By midday, I was sweating and could've used a lie-down with fans blowing in my face.
There was also a lot of merchandise and other items for sale, like this four-berth competition trolley. Online, they go for hundreds of dollars.
The best part of the day, of course, was getting to spend time in a place filled with dogs and other dog lovers.
I would come back to Westminster in a heartbeat, even if I could only watch from the stands next time.
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