Westminster Dog Show 2022 postponed due to COVID-19

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The 2022 Westminster Kennel Club dog show has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Club chairman Chat Reynders announced the postponement on the club’s website on Wednesday and social media.

The dog show was originally scheduled for January but will now be held later in 2022, according to the club. However, the club did not specify when the event would be postponed.

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“The safety and well-being of all participants at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show will always be our top priority,” Reynders said in a statement.

“Due to the extraordinary spread of the Omicron variant in New York City at this time and the disruption it is currently creating in travel and event management, the Westminster Kennel Club Board of Governors has made the difficult decision to postpone our show from January 2022. until a later date in 2022,” Reynders continued.

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In a press release, the Westminster Kennel Club said: “The health and safety of all participants in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is paramount. We appreciate the continued interest and support of the community as we postpone the show. at a time when we can safely convene.”

Matty Pugdashian pugs rest after their breed judging at the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, June 12, 2021, in Tarrytown, New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – first held in 1877 – attracts thousands of competitors from across the United States and is normally held in February, with semi-finals and finals at Madison Square Garden, a reported the Associated Press.

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Last year it was moved in June and staged outdoors at the Lyndhurst estate in the upstate New York suburb of Tarrytown. Spectators were not allowed and human participants had to be vaccinated or newly tested.

The handler of a Samoyed races with his dog in front of the judges in the working group category at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, June 13, 2021, in Tarrytown, New York.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

The handler of a Samoyed races with his dog in front of the judges in the working group category at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, June 13, 2021, in Tarrytown, New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

A Pekingese named Wasabi won best in show, beating a Whippet, French Bulldog, Old English Sheepdog, German Shorthaired Pointer, Samoyed and West Highland White Terrier.

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With COVID-19 cases now exploding across the US, the postponement comes less than two weeks after more than 8,500 dogs, owners and handlers converged for another top US dog show, the National Championship from the American Kennel Club in Orlando, Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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