Unity woman picks best toy entry at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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A Unity woman is getting some sort of promotion at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this weekend.

June A. Penta will judge the Toy Group on Saturday after examining only certain breeds three times at the prestigious exhibition. Your time commanding the ring will be quick – the judges will have less than 3 minutes to look at each dog – but a lifetime of practice will make it seem like a breeze.

« You concentrate in the ring because you don’t have a lot of time for every dog, » she said. « Especially when they are on the table, focus on all the parts. »

The 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, presented by Purina Pro Plan, is held this weekend at an outdoor venue in Tarrytown, New York. The show has been postponed from its original winter date at Madison Square Garden in New York City due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Penta, 80, has been a dog show judge at the American Kennel Club since 1975. She has bred and exhibited Afghan Hounds and Shih Tzus in previous years. She is approved as a judge for hunting dog, toy and herding dog breeds, which makes up about 100 dog breeds.

She and her husband, Jerry Penta, 81, who is also a judge, once attended about 50 shows a year. They looked forward to the opportunity this weekend after June Penta received a fancy envelope with the invitation months ago.

The best of each toy breed at the show will come to her to decide which dog in the group best meets the breed standard. These include breeds such as the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Pug, and Italian Greyhound.

Penta knows the breed standards by heart from decades of experience, but it’s always important to double-check the information on the finer points.

« If you study them carefully and know everything about them, you can really appreciate the breeds, » she said.

After Saturday’s hard work, the Pentas will relax on Sunday and watch the rest of the show. The event will have a new look this year and will be held in tents instead of Madison Square Garden.

The couple have traveled all over the world judging dogs. Both said the work is challenging and satisfying, one that takes into account their common artistic background.

You may also find some time to celebrate your wedding anniversary in the most suitable place. The Pentas met at a dog show in Greensburg and married on June 11, 1977.

The verdict of the Toy Group will be broadcast Saturday evening on FS1 and streamed from 7.30 p.m. in the FOX Sports and FOX Now apps. The winner of the Best in Show will be announced on FOX on Sunday evening. For details of the weekend’s program of events – including agility, obedience and junior showmanship competitions – and television coverage, visit westminsterkennelclub.org.

Renatta Signorini is a contributing writer to Tribune Review staff. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected], or on Twitter.

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