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Star Dog Handler Bill McFadden Injured in Car Crash on Way to Westminster Dog Show

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Star dog handler Bill McFadden injured in car crash on way to Westminster Dog Show

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — The road to the present year’s Westminster Kennel Club show skilled an epidemic and a serious change of date and venue. For one among the nation’s best known dog handlers, the road also proved dangerous.

Bill McFadden, who has guided two Westminster winners, was rear-ended and injured while driving a van filled with dogs cross-country to the show, his wife and fellow star handler, Taffe McFadden, said Saturday. He was hospitalized for a time after the crash Tuesday in Wyoming and is now recuperating reception in Acampo, California, she said. He are going to be off the show trail for a short time .

Despite the shock and worry, “I’m really glad to be here. I wish my husband was with me,” Taffe McFadden said as she and therefore the couple’s assistants readied their canine charges. “It’s a highly coveted show to be at, and for them to figure this difficult to form it happen is pretty awesome.”

The Westminster show moved from ny City to a suburban estate, and from February to June, so it might be held outdoors as an epidemic precaution; organizers also closed the show to the general public . Judging began Saturday toward the simplest in show prize, which can be awarded Sunday night.

Four of the seven finalists get chosen Saturday night. Semifinalists include Bono, a Havanese that made the finals last year and is handled by Taffe McFadden.

The McFaddens are one among the sport’s power couples. Bill McFadden handled a bichon frise named Flynn to best in show at Westminster in 2018 and took Mick the Kerry blue terrier to the title in 2003. His wife said he was checking in constantly Saturday on the goings-on at the primary Westminster he has missed in years.

She said a truck plowed into Bill McFadden’s van while it had been stopped during a construction zone in Laramie, Wyoming. Messages were left Saturday with local enforcement agencies about the crash.

The 10 dogs aboard weren’t injured, his wife said, but a veterinary chiropractor was working with them Saturday just in case of any aches.

This year marks the primary time the 145-year-old show is outside Manhattan. a part of the competition is typically in exhibition buildings on Hudson piers, and therefore the rest in Madison Square Garden.

Many owners and handlers say they and their dogs relish the fresh air and breathing space of the sprawling Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, New York. Still, the outdoor setting came with some challenges, including not having an influence and water system for grooming.

Some participants brought their own – the McFadden team, as an example , was found out during a parking zone with five generators, six 6-gallon jugs of water, a tent and little fenced pens for the dogs to bide time outdoors.

Others had to be a touch more catch-as-catch-can. Janet Atkins and Charles Namey bathed and blow-dried their bearded collie, Moet, at an area pet store Friday, then brushed her and did other final touches Saturday on a table outside their minivan, with plastic sheeting for a cover .

“You cope with what you’ll ,” said Atkins, of Winter Park, Florida.

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After flying in from Toronto on Friday evening, Irina Falk was up until 2 a.m. Saturday bathing and drying her Yorkshire terriers Tim Tim and Kenzo, then got up three hours later to urge to the show, fix their topknots and check out to stay their silky, flowing coats fresh on a damp morning on the Lyndhurst lawn.

“I had grass on the comb , on the coat, in my dress,” she said with a smile.

Four breeds are making their Westminster debut this weekend, including the Belgian Laekenois. “Congratulations – you made history today,” judge Sharon Ann Redmer told some half-dozen Laekenois and their human partners. The herding dogs are generally referred to as hard-working and driven, but Saffron is additionally “the happiest dog on earth,” says handler Trina Matteson of Silver Springs, Florida.

Jack Jack the French bulldog won’t have made history. But being at Westminster is “a bucket-list item” for owner Kami Harris. She never pictured getting involved in dog shows until she got the dog as a pet, and his breeder suggested showing him.

“Ever since COVID hit, i noticed what proportion I loved it and missed it,” says Harris, of Oregon City, Oregon. “The friendships that you simply make, and therefore the people you meet – it’s a community.”


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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