Queens, NY–The Westminster Kennel Club, established in 1877, is America’s oldest organization in the US, second only to the Kentucky Derby. It is committed to the sport of dogs. The Kennel Club hosts the prestigious, all-breed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the second-longest, continuously held sporting event in the country, and since 1948, the longest nationally televised live dog show.
The annual dog show—a conformation competition for purebred dogs—the Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship— where all canine from all backgrounds are eligible to compete. The Westminster Week with nearly 3,000 dogs from around the globe making it extraordinary experience for any dog lover.
The show has captivated canine enthusiasts for more than a century. The Club’s mission, which enhances the lives of all dogs, celebrates the companionship of dogs, promotes responsible dog ownership, and breed preservation.
Buddy Holly, the petit basset griffon Vendéen was named best in show at the 147 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – the first of his his breed to claim the prestigious contest’s top prize, beating out the other six canine finalists and their handlers.
The PBGV, who earlier Tuesday won the hound group, charmed judges with his confidence and easy going demeanor.
PBGVs, as they’re known for short, are the 154th most prevalent purebreds in the country, according to recent American Kennel Club rankings.
“He’s just everything a PBGV should be hardheaded, stubborn, happy,” Janice Hayes, Buddy Holly’s handler, said after the canine won the show. “He moves just so easily, and we are just so proud of him.” He is the “epitome of a show dog,” she said.
This year’s result was something of an upset: Winston the French bulldog was the fans favorite heading into the final round of judging and was looking to take the top spot after being named best in show reserve at Westminster in 2022.
This year’s runner-up went to Rummie the Pekingese , the hairy, pocket-sized winner of the toy group, who was aiming to bring home the third trophy in 11 years for his small-but-regal breed. Winston the French bulldog was gunning for the title after coming very close last year.
The dogs are judged against American Kennel Club breed standards, and the best of the breed goes on to group judging. Dogs are divided into seven groups: Terrier, toy, herding, hound, working, sporting and non-sporting. The best dog within each group moves onto the final round, when best in show is awarded.
Cider, an English setter from Ocean City, N.J., won the Sporting group. The English setter has won many times within its group, most recently in 2022. English setters were among the first pure-breeds accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1878.
A giant schnauzer, Monty, from Chaplin, Connecticut, rose up in the Working group. It debuted at the Westminster dog show in 1930 and has won within its group a few times since then, but never Best in Show.
The Westminster show was held this year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
All seven groups competing tonight have their winners.
Toy group — Rummie, a Pekingese
Non-sporting group — Winston, a French bulldog
Herding group — Ribbon, an Australian shepherd
Hound group — Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen
Sporting group — Cider, an English setter
Working group — Monty, a giant schnauzer
Terrier group — Trouble, an American Staffordshire terrier