Westminster royalty: A champion, teacher and lover of hounds, Patricia Trotter will rule Best in Show

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – She is a royal who carries herself like a commoner, a Tom Brady who could be mistaken for a special teamer. Patricia Trotter will spend this weekend on the east bank of the Hudson River, at the epicenter of the second longest continuously running sports event in the nation, and wants the attention focused wholly on the event, and not her 85-year-old, record-smashing self.

“The Westminster Dog Show is the Super Bowl and the World Series (wrapped into) one,” Trotter told USA TODAY. “There are hundreds and hundreds of dog shows, but there is only one Westminster.”

The 145th edition of Westminster will begin Friday morning and conclude Sunday night, when Trotter, a longtime middle-school history teacher from Carmel, Calif., will be the judge of the Best In Show competition, the most prestigious judging gig in the dog-show realm. For the first time since its debut in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club’s showcase event will not be held in Madison Square Garden, moving 25 miles north to Lyndhurst, a historic riverside mansion in the village of Tarrytown – a venue change WKC officials made in order to hold the show outdoors. Big white tents now dot the verdant estate grounds, and so will more than, 2,500 canine competitors, including four new breeds. But there will be no fans, or vendors, or midtown Manhattan hubbub – not until the show returns to the Garden in 2022, pandemic willing.

“It is going to be weird,” Trotter said, with a chuckle.


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