Now this dog has something to honk.
A bloodhound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Wednesday night, marking the first time the breed has won the most coveted prize in American dogdom.
Rounding the finalists ring with a poised and powerful stride, Trumpet beat a French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Maltese, English Setter, Samoyed and Lake Terrier to claim the trophy.
“I was shocked,” said handler, co-breeder and co-owner Heather Helmer, also known as Heather Buehner. The competition was tough, “and sometimes I feel like the bloodhound is a bit of an underdog.”
After marking the history of dog shows, does Trumpet have an idea of its particularity?
“I think so,” said his Berlin Center, Ohio-based coach.
Winston, a French Bulldog co-owned by NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox, took second place in the nation’s most prestigious dog show.
The competition attracted over 3,000 purebred dogs, ranging from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers. The objective is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed.
Usually staged in the winter at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the show moved to the suburban Lyndhurst estate last year and this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Westminster is often described as the Super Bowl of American dog shows, and Winston aimed to make it that way for Fox, a defensive lineman who was just signed by the Los Angeles Chargers and played for the Rams. Los Angeles and the Carolina Panthers.
Ahead of the finale, Fox said he was “ecstatic” when Winston got there.
“He’s basically a superstar,” Fox said by phone Wednesday.
The dog comes from his grandmother, Sandy Fox, who bred and showed Frenchies for years. Morgan Fox grew up with one and says watching Winston mature he knew the dog was a winner in both looks and character.
“It’s a joy to be with him,” Fox said. “He always walks around with as much of a smile on his face as a dog can get.”
Winston, currently the highest ranked dog in the country, took on Striker, a Samoyed who also made the final last year; River, a top-winning German Shepherd, and Trumpet, a Bloodhound descended from the 2014 winner of another top show, the National Dog Show of the Thanksgiving season.
After topping the dog rankings last year, Striker has recently been to a few dog shows “to keep his head in the game,” handler Laura King said.
What makes the snow-white Samoyed shine in competition? “His heart,” said King, of Milan, Illinois.
“His charisma shows when he shows up,” and he complains vocally when he doesn’t, she said.
While silent in the ring, an Alaskan Malamute let out a howl – cheers? – semi-final soundtrack featuring the Samoyed and other breeds classified as working dogs.
Then there was MM the Lakeland terrier – terriers have won many Westminsters – and a Maltese clearly aiming for stardom: his name is Hollywood.
But the beauty of the ball could be an English passer. Belle qualified for the finals after being dragged around the ring by one of her breeders and owners, Amanda Ciaravino – a feat at an event where many top contenders are accompanied by on-time career managers. full.
“It’s amazing,” said an emotional Ciaravino. “I’m so proud of her.”
Monty, a giant schnauzer who reached the semi-finals on Wednesday night but did not advance further, is a son of the dog that won Westminster’s second prize in 2018. Classified as a working dog, Monty enjoys the works of gardening – which, for him, means presenting a football to throw while handler and co-owner Katie Bernardin’s husband, Adam, mows the lawn, she said.
Another contestant, Ooma, was the only Chinook who showed up. Sled pullers are the official state dog of New Hampshire, but they are rare throughout the country.
“I would love to see a few more” in the ring at Westminster, said Ooma breeder, owner and handler Patti Richards of West Haven, Vermont. “Without people who will show and reproduce, we risk losing our breed.”
Bonnie the Brittany is owner-handler Dr. Jessica Sielawa’s first show dog and the two did not walk away with a ribbon on Wednesday. But their teamwork extends beyond the ring.
Bonnie accompanies Sielawa to work at her chiropractic practice in Syracuse, New York, where “she’s really helped people deal with their emotional stress,” Sielawa said.
She also plans to have her show dog certified as a therapy dog.