Westminster Kennel Club Portraits

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The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a two-day, all-breed benched conformation show that takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York Cityannually since 1877.

The Westminster show was first held on May 8, 1877, making it the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States behind only the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875. (Both events were held even during the World War years.) The show originated as a show for gun dogs, primarily Setters and Pointers, initiated by a group of hunters who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel at Irving Place and Sixteenth Street in Manhattan. They decided to create a kennel club called the Westminster Kennel Club specifically for the purpose of holding a dog show. The prizes for these first shows included such items as pearl handled pistols, of use to the hunters and terriermen who worked these dogs in the field.