Best in show

By on March 20, 2019

Legendary dog handler Peter Green of Bowmansville shows no sign of slowing down.

At 82, Green last month selected the Best in Show winner at the iconic Westminster Dog Show in New York.

“I’ve judged there before at Westminster but never Best in Show,” he said. “But it is the ultimate in the United States to judge Best in Show at Westminster.”

Perhaps just another day for Green, who is recognized by many as the most accomplished dog handler in the sport today.

As he typically does on weekend trips to dog shows, Green traveled on Feb. 12 to Westminster with Beth Sweigart, also a judge. Both Sweigart and Green retired from handling in 2006 to begin a career in judging, although they both still have their own show dogs.

Peter Green, from Bowmansville, with Welsh terrier Ianto, last month selected the Best in Show winner at the iconic Westminster Dog Show in New York.

“We go off a couple of times a month to dog shows,” Green said while holding Welsh terrier, Ianto, which means “John” in Welsh. “I guess we’ll keep judging until we can’t.”

The couple has been all over the world judging &tstr; including China, Africa and Australia, and were most recently in the St. Louis area at the Belle-City Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show. He and Beth were also recently invited to a luncheon in England at Windsor Castle and introduced to the Queen.

“It was quite an unexpected honor to meet the Queen and enter Windsor Castle,” Green said.

During his career as a professional handler, Green tied the record for a handler achieving four Best in Show victories at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (1968, 1977, 1994 and 1998).
Green also won Best in Show in 2005 at Crufts in Birmingham, England, the largest dog show in the world, making him one of only two handlers to steer a dog to Best in Show at both Westminster and Crufts.

Peter Green, from Bowmansville, with Welsh terrier Ianto, last month selected the Best in Show winner at the iconic Westminster Dog Show in New York.

Additionally, he piloted dogs to Best in Show wins nine times at the highly competitive Montgomery County Kennel Club Terrier Show in Pennsylvania. This year at the Westminster show, Green chose a wire fox terrier called King as Best in Show winner. Dogs at Westminster are judged based on how well they represent the breed standard of perfection, he said.

Despite all of the prestige bestowed upon Green, it was a proud moment for the local dog community when Green was announced to choose Best in Show in 2019 at the 143rd Westminster Dog Show.

Since building a home there in 1966, he’s made Bowmansville his residence and headquarters for his dog handling and judging work. From that location, Green honed his skills and lifted his career after he won Best in Show at Westminster in 1968 with the great Lakeland Terrier, Ch. Stingray of Derryabah.

Success stories that followed out of Bowmansville include Ernesto Lara, who led Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, to a win of the prestigious Best in Show trophy at Westminster in 2013.
Others mentored by Green include Peter’s son, Andrew Green, Larry Cornelius, and Bobby Paust.

Patrick Burns is news editor of The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 717-721-4455. 

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