NEW YORK – Somers resident Lisa Johnson and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Winnie and Peri, are among more than 3,000 dogs who will compete in the events of Westminster Week, which begin tomorrow in New York City.
The dogs will compete in Saturday’s fourth annual Masters Agility Championship. Other events at Westminster include the Masters Obedience Championship and the main event: the 141st annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show, which takes place Monday and Tuesday.
Johnson began agility training in the summer of 2009 with her first Cavalier, Ollie. The two took to the sport instantly and entered their first competition the following year. Johnson soon realized her desire to study agility and compete outweighed Ollie’s, so Winnie joined their household in May 2011. It was clear early in her training that Winnie had both the ability and the drive to become a champion.
Johnson and Winnie began regularly competing in AKC agility events in the spring of 2013 and achieved their first AKC Masters Agility Championship less than two years later. Since then, the pair has gone onto earn numerous AKC agility titles, including three more championships. Winnie was ranked the No. 10 AKC agility Cavalier in 2015 and finished 2016 as No. 8. This is her third appearance in the Westminster Masters Agility Championship.
Peri joined the Johnson family in January 2015. She is from Daisylane Cavaliers, a breeder on Long Island known for producing Cavaliers specifically for agility competition. Peri began her agility career in January 2016 and in a matter of months worked her way from novice through the Masters level of AKC agility, qualifying her for the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster. At the age of 27 months, Peri is one of the youngest dogs to attend the prestigious competition.