First female handler to win BIS in Madison Square Garden – 1956!
This month’s akc.org profile of Anne Rogers Clark states, “There quite simply has been no one else in the sport of dogs who so thoroughly mastered so many of its facets, from breeding to handling to judging.” The article is accompanied by exclusive images from Clark’s estate, donated to the AKC Library & Archives by the Poodle Club of America. This outtake features Annie celebrating the Best of Breed win of Ch. Fontclair Festoon at the 1959 Westminster Kennel Club dog show, a precursor to their later claim of Best in Show. It was written that Festoom gaited “primly as a little lady” as “a saucy specimen of compact perfection clad in a rich, smartly-trimmed dark coat in finest bloom.” While Annie had made history in 1956 as the first female handler to win BIS in Madison Square Garden, she was just as overwhelmed by this triumph over 3 years later, noting “Hard-bitten professionals can be emotional, too.” #waybackwednesday
Anne Rogers Clark was an American dog breeder and trainer and one of the few people licensed to judge all 165 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club. Wikipedia