Established in 1877 the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the oldest organization dedicated to purebred dogs, and is widely regarded as the most prestigious dog show in the world, perhaps even more widely regarded than the United Kingdom’s Crufts. The competition is held annually at Madison Square Garden in New York over a two day period culminating in one dog being named Best in Show
James, full name Ch Felicity’s Diamond Jim, beat an Akita, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier, a Toy Poodle, a Standard Poodle, a Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeen, and a Bouviers des Flanders – the other group winners. The winner was the overall number two ranked dog heading into the show with the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, CH Hobergays Fineus Fogg, being the only dog ranked higher.
The English Springer Spaniel was bred as a hunting dog in England that would "spring" game from a field. This gave rise to its name which was officially recognized in 1902. According to the Westminster Kennel Club website, "The true beauty of the English Springer Spaniel is found in the expression of its original purpose: a companion gundog."
A Best in Show win at Westminster means instant celebrity status for the winning dog and a year’s worth of positive publicity for that dog’s breed.