The 2013 Westminster Dog Show will be undergoing some changes this year, and those changes will only improve the event moving forward.
This year's show will be held from Feb. 11-12 at Madison Square Garden.
According to WestminsterKennelClub.org, among the changes are an increased entry limit, an additional venue for breed judging and an expansion of eligible dogs.
Let's take a look at why these changes will make for a better show.
Television broadcast schedule can be found here.
Per the show's official site, the Junior Sportsmanship finals, as well as the Group and Best in Show portions of the program, will still be held in the evening at Madison Square Garden. However, breed judging and benching will take place at Piers 92/94 in New York City during the afternoon on both days.
This is necessary because Madison Square Garden has gone through renovations in recent years that have seriously limited space.
With another place to hold events, more room will be afforded for extra viewers, allowing for an up close and personal experience in meeting the participants of the show. Cramping shouldn't be an issue at the piers, either.
Ultimately, this move allowed organizers to increase the entry limit, and that will only make for a better competition all around.
Increased Entry Limit and Eligibility Expansion
Per the show's official site, the 2013 Westminster Dog Show will increase its entry limit from 2,000 in 2012 to 3,200 in 2013 and "will include competition in the classes for dogs that have not yet earned their championships, but have won a major (3 points or more at one show)."
This is the first time since 1991 that the entry limit has been increased. It was decreased in 2012 to 2,000 because of a lack of space at MSG, and this is the highest limit allowed since 1970 (3,000).
These great changes give more owners and handlers an opportunity to show their dogs off. That will no doubt increase the level of competition in a big way and should allow for some newcomers to make some noise in 2013.
To see the number of participants decreased last year simply because of a lack of space was a shame, but it appears the organizers of the show have wisely figured out a way around that. Now, they are repaying us with more competitors this year.
They say the more the merrier, and in this case that certainly applies. To have an opportunity for more competition and the chance to see a wider array of beautiful dogs is nothing short of great for the people who attend and watch at home.