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Westminster Dog Show and Agility Championship 2014, New York

The Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show in New York welcomes three new breeds to the competition and introduces an agility contest for the first time. 2014-01-21 04:02 AM EST Last Updated: 2014-01-21 04:08 AM EST
The Westminster Kennel Club announced three new breeds and a new event for the 138th dog show this week.

For the first time the competition will include a Masters Agility Championship which will take place on February 8 at Pier 94 in New York, preceding the all-breed dog show on February 10 and 11.

Even though agility contests are growing in popularity, Madison Square Garden, home to the Westminster Dog Show for decades, could not accommodate it because of lack of space.

[Sean McCarthy, President, Westminster Kennel Club]:
"Agility, particularly is exciting for spectators and for the dogs themselves, as that it's a race over a number of obstacles and it gets great fan support and, in fact, is the fastest growing area of the dog world in terms of events."

The agility contest also welcomes mixed breeds, known as All American dogs.

A standard poodle, border collie, two papillons and one All American dog were put through their paces at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

The 2014 show drew over two-thousand-eight-hundred entries, including three new breeds, the chinook, the Portuguese podengo pequeno and the rat terrier.

Chinooks were originally bred to pull heavy sledges.

[Patti Richards, Chinook Owner and Breeder]:
"They're a wonderful family dog, they love people, they get along quite well with other dogs and cats—properly introduced—they're hard-working dogs and after they're done working they'll come in and lay on the couch and watch a football game."

McCarthy says the Westminster Dog Show is the second oldest sporting event in the U.S., behind the Kentucky Derby.

[Sean McCarthy, President, Westminster Kennel Club]:
"What's unique about Westminster is that all the dogs are there all day long. And so it enables somebody to come to the piers and see the representatives of that breed from all over the world. And that's, we think the most important thing of including every breed that's qualified."

The agility championship will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 on February 8.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be held on February 10 and 11 and will air live on CNBC and USA Network respectively.

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