Westminster Teams With DreamWorks Animation to Make History

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious sporting events, is partnering with DreamWorks Animation to inaugurate an historic innovation to showcase the 2005 show.

For the first time ever, fans of “America’s Dog Show” will be able to see highlights of the breed competition held each day in the 165 breeds and varieties. Those highlights will be shot and posted in streaming video on the Westminster web site (www.westminsterkennelclub.org) within two hours of the actual competition for any particular breed or variety. This will allow viewers actually to follow the progression of the top dogs in each breed as they vie to be Best of Breed and win the right to advance to the evening Group competition and a chance for Best In Show.

The streaming video is being sponsored by DreamWorks Animation, marking the first time ever in Westminster’s illustrious history that the club has accepted a sponsorship partner outside of a dog food company. The streaming video project will be hosted by Gromit, the canine half of the beloved clay-animated duo Wallace & Gromit. DreamWorks will be presenting Aardman’s new Wallace & Gromit feature length film, which opens on October 7, 2005.

Since 1948, Westminster’s evening competition in the Groups, featuring each of the breed winners, has been broadcast live on local and cable television. This new feature of Westminster coverage will show how those winners advanced to their group competition. In the past, dog show aficionados who were not fortunate enough to attend in person at New York’s Madison Square Garden only saw the breed winners in the seven group rings. Now, by way of the streaming video on the Internet, viewers can watch hundreds of breed champions, ranging from Golden Retrievers to Komondors, from Mastiffs to Pekinese, and from Rhodesian Ridgebacks to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels strut their stuff as they try to win the favor of the judges. This year, entries at the breed level range to as high as 53 (Golden Retrievers).

“Our goal, beginning with our very first show in 1877, has always been to educate the general public about purebred dogs, responsible dog ownership and dog shows,” said show chairman Thomas H. Bradley, 3d. “We have been televising our dog show live for well over 50 years (since 1948). At that time, television was the cutting edge of available technology. Today, it’s streaming video on the Internet, which can have an even greater impact in reaching dog owners and dog lovers everywhere. We are thrilled to have DreamWorks as a new partner. With their enthusiastic support, we will be able to bring even more to the millions of viewers who tune in to see Westminster on live television every year.”

The Westminster web site (www.westminsterkennelclub.org) draws over 100,000 hits each day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the show. The opportunity to see individual breed competition will drive an enormous amount of additional traffic to the web site. The breed videos will remain on the web site throughout the year, accompanied by highlights of the Group competition and Best In Show, to be added following the event.

The 129th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, sponsored by Pedigree, is broadcast live on USA Network, 8:00pm to 11:00pm (EST) on both Monday February 14th and Tuesday, February 15th, 2005.


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