Photo from NBCNews
The 140th Westminster Dog Show is in the books, and not one poodle made it out of the groups, where dogs with similar development and jobs are grouped together to compete against breed standards. Nope. No funny hair cuts this year. The finalists for Best in Show, the most coveted prize in all of dog-dom were:
- Hound Group – Borzoi (Lucy)
- Toy Group – Shih-Tzu (Panda)
- Non-Sporting Group – Bulldog (Annabelle)
- Herding Group – German Shepherd (Rumor)
- Sporting Group – German Shorthaired Pointer (CJ)
- Working Group – Samoyed (Bogie)
- Terrier Group – Skye Terrier (Charlie)
Not one dog breed hailing from France. (Not one developed in the United States, either.) Nope, these, the survivors after two days of nothing but 2,700 dogs in the show ring, went head to head under the jumbotron at Madison Square Garden in New York City and were judged for the the honor by University of Toronto psychiatrist Dr. Richard Meen. After the judge had poked and prodded, felt up the dogs, and inspected their bites, he watched all the gaits and implored the handlers to go back to their boxes and “relax.” (I’ve been watching this show for decades…never heard a judge tell the handlers to relax.)
When he was done judging the dogs against the standards and despite the crowd trying to help him with his decision (Annabelle the bulldog was THEIR favorite), and Panda shaking off his handler’s brushing technique, Dr. Meen chose the Borzoi as the reserve champion, and – drumroll, please – the German Short-haired Pointer as Best In Show, a title that pooch, CJ, will carry the rest of his life. His owner and handler, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, fell to the green carpet in tears. Nunes was once crowned junior handler champion. Now, she has a “Best In Show” at Westminster for her resume. From MSN:
“He was born for this,” said owner Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, from Temecula, California, after C.J. won best in the sporting group earlier in the night. “There’s something special about him.” (Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Michael Perry)
After the Kentucky Derby, the Westminster Dog Show is the second longest running sporting event in the United States. For those of us who have a love for the purebred dog, it is a joy to watch and judge for ourselves from the recliner.
And, once again, this writer’s current breed, Havanese, was passed over in the toy group, but glad this girl made it to the ring.