ShowSight January 2019

Westminster Moments: A Few of...


positive that there’s no denying the appeal of hair tousled “just so.” Not every breed benefits from a col- orful coat or clever hairstyling. Beauty is simply skin deep for some. Take for instance this lithe Italian Greyhound cradled in the arms of his smartly- attired handler. Both characters sport a distinctively smooth noggin and a dis- tinguished profile that suggests a partic- ular nobility. The streamlined IG is even dressed in white accents that mirror the gentleman’s necktie. Or is it the other way around? Their gazes are fixed, though the attention of man and beast is not shared. As the handler looks for inspiration from above, the diminutive Toy seems intent on something across the ring. Perhaps he’s spied a friend among the many thousands of faces in the crowd. Or maybe that’s just the look of elegance and grace.

At Westminster, boldness is not dependent on size. In fact, it’s often the smaller dogs that command the most attention as this Tibetan Spaniel dem- onstrates. With head and tail carried proudly, he seems to be moving dutiful- ly toward his destination with a sense of purpose—if not urgency. With forward- looking eyes, this watchful companion appears to be floating across the carpet of green with only the feathering of his toes brushing the floor. His focused handler seems to be studying the little dog’s every move, matching his footfall with that of his companion. The perfect harmony they share is best demonstrat- ed by the freewheeling show lead that’s completely free of tension. Its undulat- ing curves allow us to “see” the easy rhythm of their movements. A tight lead would have destroyed the picture. Rare is the dog that cannot take a bad photo. For example, the grace and

symmetry of this Saluki is evident even from a three-quarter rear angle. (Imag- ine how he must appear in the eyes of the spectators standing three-deep on the opposite side of the ring!) The pow- er of this image is not one of sentiment, but of structure. Sloping shoulders, straight forelegs, strong hindquarters, and stifles strongly bent leave no doubt that this statuesque figure is capable of galloping across the sands of time. In the present moment, however, he remains still under the steady hand of his handler. Just as steady is the atten- tion from the gallery. As they consider the creature standing before them, a flash from behind the handler went off at the very moment I snapped this pho- to. The result, at least in the eye of this amateur photographer, is one of pure magic. Westminster magic!

A corded Poodle evaluates the competition with hair tousled ‘ just so.’

Both IG and handler sport a distinguished profile and a determined gaze.

This Tibbie and handler share a loose lead as well as a quick-moving gait.

The sudden flash from a hidden camera provides a little Westminster magic.

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

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