ShowSight January 2019

Westminster Moments A Few of My Favorite Photos ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY DAN SAYERS A p h o t o - g r a p h c a p t u r e s a moment

by amateur and professional photographers alike. The West- minster images that follow are a few of my favorite photos that I was lucky enough to capture. This image of a Pekingese and his handler in the spotlight at Madison Square Garden epitomizes the glamour of West- minster. In the arena that has fêted its fair share of interna- tional celebrities, this handler and his charge command the viewer’s attention. The drama created by the lighting forces the eye onto the pair as they take center stage. There’s even something “Old Hollywood” about the moment. The gentle- man’s graceful manner recalls Fred Astaire who, through his grace and technical prowess, always elevated his partner’s performance. In this photo, all eyes are on the little lionlike creature rolling imperially across the carpet. His courage, dignity and boldness—not to mention his envelope-shaped head—is clearly visible for the world to see. Little dogs often make the biggest impression, especial- ly when their size is offset by the trophies that tower over them. When the Affenpinscher was awarded Best in Show at Westminster, this once obscure breed was thrust onto the world stage. Before he stood for his official win photo between the James Mortimer Memorial Sterling Silver Trophy

in time. More spe- cifically, photos allow us to relive singular moments that might otherwise be gone from our memory. Whenever we look at the images pre- served on paper or on a hard drive, the past becomes present again. For exhibitors, the win photo holds

particular significance. However, just as invaluable to the preservation of the past are the candid shots that record a dog’s wonder, not just its win. Those moments of spontane- ity appear at every show, both in the ring and behind the scenes. With a bit of luck, they can be recorded for posterity

and the Westminster Legend hand-engraved Steuben Crystal Trophy, this Toy Wonder was playfully tossed into the air by his handler— an act of joy that had clearly been carefully practiced. Now, with four feet planted firmly on a table draped in Westminster’s signature purple and gold, the little guy seemed eager to lean forward in the direction of the offi- cial photographer. He was ready for his close- up, having just proven that dogs—especially “monkey-dogs”—can fly. Not every breed of dog rolls or flies to vic- tory. At least one has the animation of a Hack- ney Horse. This Group-winning Miniature Pinscher could hardly contain her excitement as she was selected from a lineup that includ- ed many of the previous year’s top-winning Toys. In a burst of delight that demonstrated her breed’s well-known self-possession and spirited presence, this tiny treasure owned her moment on the Garden floor. (Even if she could do so only on her hind legs!) Ever the bundle of energy, the Min Pin’s focused gaze is directed toward her handler who is just beginning to step out from the “chorus line” to take position in the center of the world’s most famous amphitheater. Begging for attention comes naturally to many breeds, including the gregarious Norfolk Terrier. With her sparkling eyes, this keen and fearless performer refuses to accept that she’s anything but a giant as she stretches to meet her handler’s eyes. (Or is it a treat that’s so tempting?) So determined is this wily—and wiry—little rascal to get her way that she’s lifted her left front paw as if to say, “Hey, that’s mine, give it here!”

The drama created by Madison Square Garden’s theater lighting is unforgettable.

38 • S how S ight M agazine , J anuary 2019

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