Thousands of dogs will strut their stuff at the Westminster Dog Show. Winners will be crowned, and losers will go home with their tails between their legs. Here’s how dogs got to center stage in the first place.
NEW YORK — A wire fox terrier named King was named Best in Show on Tuesday night at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
King is the first terrier to be named Best in Show since Sky, also a wire fox terrier, won in 2010. But terriers are the most dominant group in Westminster history: Beginning with Warren Remedy, who was named Best in Show in each of the first three years of competition from 1907-9, terriers have now claimed the top spot 47 times.
Wire fox terriers in specific have been Westminster’s dominant breed, with King the 15th to win Best of Show.
The runner-up was a Havanese named Bono, after the U2 singer. No Havanese has ever won the competition. Bono’s handler, Taffe McFadden, is married to Bill McFadden, the handler for last year’s Best in Show, a Bichon Frise named Flynn.
Joining the terrier and Havanese in the finals were a longhaired dachshund named Burns (hound group); a Bouviers des Flandres (herding group) named Baby Lars, the first of his breed to win the group; a Sussex spaniel named Bean (sporting group); and a boxer named Wilma (working group).
The Best in Show competition wasn’t without controversy. On Monday, a Schipperke named Colton won the non-sporting group — the first time the breed had earned the honor — but was later ruled ineligible for an ownership-related issue, said Westminster officials, who cited a conflict of interest between the dog’s owners and the family of the Best in Show judge, Peter Green.
Colton was allowed to walk onto the field alongside the remaining finalists before being excused from the ring. The move was made to “maintain the integrity of the sport,” according to an announcement made as the Schipperke exited. That left just six entries across six groups competing in the final rather than the customary seven.