National Geographic : 1954 Jan
111 United Press Fanciers Throng Madison Square Garden for the Nation's Biggest Indoor Dog Show Owners and handlers coach their dogs into a show stance at Westminster's 77th annual show breed com petition. Judges inspect and take notes. From the Doberman Pinscher ring (foreground) came the Best in Show winner, Champion Rancho Dobe's Storm (page 114). English Setters stand in next ring. a class for "Red Setters" of either sex, to be exhibited by ladies only, and the prize, which the judge placed upon the winning lady right in the ring, was a gold necklace. Today a sterling silver medal is given for Best of Breed and sterling silver bowls for group winners and Best in Show. Cash prizes reward owners of winning contestants. Contrast these simple trophies with two of the prizes at Westminster's first show: a "Gold and Silver Mounted Pearl Handled Revolver" and a "Russian Leather Silver Mounted Fly Book and One Gross Assorted Flies." In the early days it was quite common to take a dog to a show with the idea of selling it, and the asking price was listed in the cata logue right after the dog's name, something which is no longer permitted. At the very first Westminster, in 1877, its benches were graced not only by royal dogs but by dogs of royalty. A Londoner, T. Med ley, Esq., exhibited two Deerhounds, Oscar and Dagmar, bred by "Her Majesty the Queen of England from the late Prince Consort's famous breed," and you could purchase either of them for $50,000. The royal touch appeared again in 1889 when a Mr. Edward Kelly of New York en tered a Siberian Wolfhound by the name of Ivan Romanoff. The fact that the breeder of this hound was the Tsar of Russia probably accounted for the $10,000 price tag, but a prospective purchaser might have had reserva tions about the Tsar's breeding operations when he read in the catalogue that Ivan was listed as "Pedigree Unknown."