Sylvanian Heads to Westminster Dog Show

by Mary Helen Darah

Circo Script Ohio Karmen struts his stuff during competition.

Local Sylvanian, Kim Sherburne, headed to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb. 8 for an exciting week of competition with her Havanese named Karmen. The master groomer, who has been affiliated with Overmeyer Vet Clinic in Sylvania for the past 14 years, has participated in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show since 2003. Westminster has been showcasing purebred dogs since 1877. It places second behind the Kentucky Derby as the longest, continuously held sporting event in the US. The well-known event, that pre-dates the invention of the light bulb, has continued and survived through everything from national economic depressions and two World Wars to power outages and snowstorms. Millions across the nation tuned in to cheer on their favorite breeds, and local viewers watched anxiously to see if Sherburne and her pooch, officially named Circo Script Ohio Karmen, would land in the winner’s circle.

In 2003 Sherburne had a Havanese in the Westminster Show that was awarded Best of Breed in the Toy Breed category. This year she hoped to take home Best of Breed and had her sights that her little dog would bring home the big prize of Best in Show. Once a dog wins Best of Breed it advances to the group competition for Best in Show. “The best part of being in the show is the hope of winning,” stated Sherburne. “Honestly, though, it is an honor to participate especially if you make it to the Garden for a chance to win Best in Show.”

Sherburne feels she is fortunate that her dog enjoys competing. “She loves it,” she stated. “Some dogs really enjoy the competition and others do not. Karmen is thrilled to be going.” Circo El Landron Nash, a Havanese also owned by Sherburne, did not compete in the Westminster Show but participated in the Progressive Dog Show and the Greater New York Havanese Specialty Show.

Sherburne feels some of the experiences that take place behind the scenes are one of the best things about participating in the week-long event. “You get to mingle with professional owners and handlers,” she said. There is a fundraiser for shelter dogs that is always enjoyable and many receptions where you can visit with other dog enthusiasts. If you have seen the movie, Best in Show, you would find that there are many similar aspects that go on at the show.”

Sherburne returned with her dogs from New York without placing. She stated, “Being a winner is wonderful, but truly seeing how well you trained your dog, how they listen and perform for you, and the bond you form as a team, is the most rewarding.”

Kim Sherburne and Circo Script Ohio Karmen enjoy competing.