via press release:
WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB CROWNS BEST IN SHOW LIVE ON USA NETWORK FEBRUARY 17 AT 8PM ET/PT
The 139th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW is Presented By Purina® Pro Plan® For a Fourth Consecutive Year
David Frei Co-Hosts with Mary Carillo, Kelli Stavast Serves as Floor Reporter
NEW YORK – January 22, 2015 – The 139th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW trots into Madison Square Garden with presenting partner Purina® Pro Plan® on February 17 at 8pm ET/PT on USA Network. David Frei will co-host the event with NBC Sports analyst Mary Carillo and NBCSN reporter Kelli Stavast. On Tuesday, February 17, USA will air the entire conclusion from 8-11pm ET/PT, featuring the crowning of Best In Show.
USA is offering digital access throughout THE WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW, starting at 8am ET, on February 16. The live judging of all 192 breeds and varieties can be accessed online or on mobile devices at WestminsterKennelClub.org. Additionally, fans can engage with interactive social experiences including the WKC Dog Show Sync, including exclusive content like competition commentary and real-time behind the scenes moments from the floor, as well as photos, videos, trivia and polls. Fans can also join the social conversation by using the hashtag #WKCDogShow. Sponsored by presenting partner Purina Pro Plan, the show will be filmed by more than 12 fixed and roaming cameras for a custom interactive experience that will showcase the in-the-ring and out-of-the-ring action, as well as interviews with Frei and sneak-peeks of the primetime action.
This marks Frei’s 26th consecutive year in his role as co-host. As a longtime breeder, owner, handler and judge in the world of purebred dogs, he has enjoyed much competitive success with his Afghan Hounds, Brittanys and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. He is the author of Angels On A Leash, a book about his work and observations in the world of therapy dogs and his life in dogs.
Purina Pro Plan will serve as presenting sponsor of the show for the fourth consecutive year.
“Purina Pro Plan is proud to have been the food of choice for eight of the last eight Westminster Best In Show Winners,” said Candy Caciolo, portfolio director, Professional Engagement Marketing, Nestlé Purina PetCare. “We have helped elevate some of the world’s top dogs to great success through innovative products and nutrition that allows them to perform at their absolute best, and we are aiming to continue that legacy this year.”
This year, two new breeds officially recognized by the American Kennel Club will make their debut at Westminster. The additions include the Coton de Tulear, competing in the Non-Sporting Group and the Wirehaired Vizsla, competing in the Sporting Group. A total of 2,711 dogs and 88 Junior Showmanship competitors were entered this year. Representing 48 states and 14 foreign countries, the most dogs were entered from New York (242) for the fifth year in a row, followed by California (204), Pennsylvania (185) and New Jersey (182). Golden Retrievers were the highest entry breed with 58. Other top entries include Labradors with 56, Australian Shepherds with 43, and French Bulldogs with 41.
Monday evening’s competition, broadcasted live on CNBC, includes the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups. Tuesday’s Group judging consists of Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, followed by the 2015 crowning of Best In Show live on USA Network. This year’s Best In Show will be judged by The Hon. David Merriam. Judge Merriam hails from Bonsall, California. He leads a panel of 33 judges from 14 states and two foreign countries.