Westminster Kennel Club Postpones 2022 Dog Show Amid COVID-19; New Date TBD

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 29, 2021

Wasabi, a Pekingese, rests on the winner's podium with its trophy and ribbons after winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Tarrytown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Westminster Kennel Club's Board of Governors announced that the organization's 146th annual Dog Show has been postponed due to the surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant in New York. No makeup date has been given at this time.

A press release read as follows.

"Due to the surge of the Omicron variant in New York City, the Board of Governors of the Westminster Kennel Club has made the difficult decision to postpone the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Presented by Purina Pro Plan to a later date in 2022.
"The health and safety of all participants in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are paramount. We appreciate the community’s continued interest and support as we delay the show to a time when we can safely convene. A new date will be announced when confirmed."

Chat Reynders, the president of the Westminster Kennel Club, also released this statement on Twitter.

Westminster Dog Show @WKCDOGS

Dear Westminster Fans,<br>The safety and wellbeing of all participants in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WestminsterDogShow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WestminsterDogShow</a> will always be our top priority. Due to the extraordinary spread of the Omicron variant in New York City at this time and the disruptions it is currently creating in travel

Westminster Dog Show @WKCDOGS

We will keep you advised of our plans for the 2022 show as they evolve and appreciate your continued interest and support. <br><br>Sincerely, <br>Chat Reynders<br>President, Westminster Kennel Club<br><br>Press Release: <a href="https://t.co/t9rtvGTYIe">https://t.co/t9rtvGTYIe</a>

The show was scheduled to take place on Jan. 25 and 26 in New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Last year's show was delayed until June and held outdoors at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York. It marked the first time that the show was not held in New York City.

As noted by the Associated Press, spectators were not allowed, and any human participants needed to be vaccinated or recently tested negative.

Wasabi, a Pekingese, won best in show in 2021. That marked the first time a Pekingese won in nine years.