TERRYTOWN, New York. Now this dog has something to buzz about.
Trumpet the bloodhound won the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Wednesday night.
Truba beat a French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Maltese, English Setter, Samoyed and Lakeland Terrier to claim the trophy.
“I’m so happy for Truba,” said handler Heather Helmer, who is the co-owner and caregiver of the 4-year-old dog.
Trumpet became the first bloodhound to win Westminster.
Winston, a French bulldog co-owned by NFL quarterback Morgan Fox, took second place in the country’s most prestigious dog show.
More than 3,000 purebred dogs, from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers, took part in the competition. The goal is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed.
The show, usually held in the winter at New York’s Madison Square Garden, moved to the suburban estate of Lyndhurst last year and this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Westminster is often referred to as the Super Bowl of American Dog Shows, and Winston aimed to make it one for Fox, a quarterback who had just signed with the Los Angeles Chargers and played for the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
Before the final, Fox said he was “thrilled” when Winston got there.
“Basically, he’s a superstar,” Fox said by phone Wednesday.
He inherited the dog from his grandmother Sandy Fox, who for many years was engaged in breeding and exhibition of the French. Morgan Fox grew up with one and says that as he watched Winston grow up, he knew the dog was a winner in both looks and temperament.
“He’s a pleasure to be around,” Fox said. “He always walks around with the smile on his face that a dog can have.”
Winston, currently the best dog in the country, faces Stryker, a Samoyed who also made it to the final last year; River, the big-winning German Shepherd, and Trumpet, the bloodhound, are descended from the winner of another major show in 2014, the National Dog Show during the Thanksgiving season.
After topping the dog rankings last year, Stryker has recently competed in several dog shows “to keep his head in the game,” handler Laura King said.
What makes a snow-white Samoyed shine in competition? “His heart,” said King of Milan, Illinois.
“His charisma comes out when he shows it,” and he complains out loud when she’s gone, she said.
While he was silent in the ring, the Alaskan Malamute let out a howl – jubilant? – soundtrack for the semi-final round featuring Samoyeds and other breeds classified as working dogs.
Then there is Lakeland Terrier M.M. – terriers have won many Westminster tournaments – and the Maltese, who clearly aspires to fame: her name is Hollywood.
But the English setter could be the beauty of the ball. Belle made it to the finals after being tipped in the ring by one of her breeders and owners, Amanda Charavino, a feat at an event where many of the top contenders are accompanied by full-time professional handlers.
“It’s amazing,” an emotional Charavino said. “I’m so proud of her.”
Monty, the giant schnauzer who reached the semi-finals on Wednesday night but didn’t advance further, is the son of the 2018 Westminster runner-up dog. Classified as a working dog, Monty loves to work in the yard, which she says means giving a soccer ball to be thrown while Adam, handler and co-owner of Cathy Bernardine, mows the lawn.
Another member, Ooma, was the only Chinook to appear. Dredges are the official state dog of New Hampshire, but they are rarely seen across the country.
“I would love to see a couple more” at the Westminster ring, said Ooma breeder, owner and handler Patty Richards of West Haven, Vermont. “Without people to show and breed, we risk losing our breed.”
Brittany Bonnie is the first show dog of Dr. Jessica Sielawa, the owner-handler, and they didn’t leave with the ribbon on Wednesday. But their collaboration goes beyond the ring.
Bonnie accompanies Sielava to work at her chiropractic practice in Syracuse, New York, where “she really helps people deal with emotional stress,” Sielava said.
She also plans to have her show dog certified as a therapy dog.