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A Celebration of Toys – Progressive 2020

By Amy Fernandez

Progressive is old, really old, so old it’s been on the DNR list more than once. But just like the dog game, somehow it always gets back in there for the next round.

That alone makes for a quirky, unique kinda club. Over the years their shows have been big and they have been small, but either way they never fail to reflect the personalities in charge of its survival.  At the start of Westminster week, it also bears the brunt of travel- and weather-related disaster possibilities, along with the intense competition that invariably sets the pace for the rest of the week.

Predictably, the atmosphere is somewhat frantic.  On the other hand, after you’ve done it 95 times that stuff tends to go down a bit easier. Progressive 2020 did not entail blizzards, disappearing judges, or unexpected waterfalls in the ceiling. And although I haven’t been through 95 of them, I’ve done enough of them to have a fairly good basis for comparison.

There have been years when walking into Progressive has felt like going into combat.  That’s all changed now. Show Chairman Tim Lehman–as he promised when he took over this thankless job–has somehow instilled a truly joyful vibe to the show. This year, exhibitors were even joking around in the jampacked elevator.  In my book, Tim deserves credit for pulling off a miracle.

So this year’s entry was 428 with 59 Cavaliers topping the list. Yorkies, traditionally a major draw, had 52 entries this year, followed by Shih Tzu with 33, and Long Coat Chihuahuas with 32.

As usual, the entry was packed with the best Toys in the world. But after what when down in Orlando last December, the Peke ring, just seven entries strong, was the center of attention. David Fitzpatrick has a new one out, Ch. Pequest Wasabi, just 21 months old. I had to get a look, and there he was perched on a table in the corner, surveying his kingdom, just like every Pekingese has done for the past 3000 years. Haughty self-importance is built into the Pekingese gene pool. But Wasabi had a few legitimate reasons for looking all high and mighty. He is a Malachy grandson, and David…well, let’s say that we have stopped keeping track of how many times David has won Progressive.

So, the Peke went into the group as the odds-on favorite and Desi Murphy confirmed it. Despite his young age, Wasabi has already racked up a helluva BIS record in just the first month of this year. (David, as always, remains unruffled by any of it.) Group Two went to the Pom, Ch. Jackie is Mine of Paradise House, for third Desi selected the absolutely stunning Toy Poodle, GCh. Smash JP of Copenhagen, and to balance out his group with something less fluffy, his Group Fourth winner was the Toy Manchester, Cottage Lake’s Oedipal Love.

So, another Progressive is in the books. Here’s look to another 95 years for this special show.

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Posted by on Feb 11 2020. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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