The show is over and a new winner has been crowned. Best in Show Judge David C. Merriam had a difficult task of choosing between seven beautiful dogs but he appeared to have enjoyed every minute of his job. Westminster is second only to the Kentucky Derby for the longest running sporting event in the country.
It was the sixth win in the history of Westminster for the Hound Group. In 2008 Westminster chose the 15 inch Beagle, Uno, as its winner and keeping up with the tradition of her Great Uncle, Miss P became the second 15 inch Beagle to take the championship. As was Uno, Miss P, is a force to be reckoned with on her own. The little 15 inch Beagle appeared on The View the morning following Westminster, and as in the tradition of her lineage, Miss P continued her spot of honor and stole the show.
If you are a dog show fan and have watched Westminster from year to year, you will often see the same handlers and owners following their own victories seeking another Best in Show. An example that comes to mind is Scott Sommer, the handler who became famous with a first time victory of the Bichon Frise, Just Right or J.R. for short, in 2001. Scott went on to win Best in Show with the oldest dog in Westminster history; Stump the Sussex Spaniel won the honor at 10 years old, in 2009. This past week Scott had another Bichon Frise picked as Best in Breed and placed 3rd in the Non-Sporting Group. It will not be a surprise to see Scott return next year for another go at Best in Show. He has been known to handle up to three dogs in the same dog show and place numerous times. It is a foregone conclusion Sommers is a formidable opponent who knows his stuff and is a very busy man.
The winner and placement in each group are important to note as each carries their own special history which sometimes is overshadowed by the Best in Show winner.
Hound Group winner was 15 inch Beagle 4 year old Ch Tashtins Lookin for Trouble. Bitch called Miss P won 15 previous Best in Show awards in her career.
2nd – Bloodhound 3rd – Otter hound 4th – Black and Tan Coonhound
Terrier Group winner was 3 year old Skye Terrier – GCH Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie – Dog called Charlie was number one terrier in the country in 2014. The Terrier Group has won Westminster 46 times during the run of the show. Good Time Charlie has 50 Best in Show winnings under his belt and was selected as Reserve Best in Show for 2015.
2nd – Welsh Terrier 3rd – Norfolk Terrier 4th – Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Toy Group winner was 2 year old Shih Tzu – GCH Hallmark Jolei Rocket Power – Dog called Rocket has won Best in Show honors 17 times in his career.
2nd – Pomeranian 3rd – Yorkshire Terrier 4th – Havanese
Non-Sporting winner was 3 year old Standard Poodle Black – GCH Dawin Hearts on Fire- Bitch is called Flame. She was the number 3 show dog in country in 2014 – The Standard Poodle has won 4 Best in Show honors at Westminster in the past.
2nd – Xoloitzcuintli 9 (show-low) 3rd – Bichon Frise 4th – American Eskimo Dog
Herding Group winner was 3 year old – Old English Sheep Dog – GCH Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect. Dog called Swagger has garnered 118 Best in Show wins during his career and won the Herding Group 2 years ago at Westminster. He was the crowd favorite next to Miss P.
2nd – Bouvier des Flandres 3rd – Australian Shepherd 4th – German Shepherd Dog
Sporting Group winner was 3 year old English Springer Spaniel – GCH Wynmoor Sweetgrass White Diamonds – Bitch is called Liz. The breed has previously has taken Best in Show six times already at Westminster. Just seeing the elegance and disposition of the dog this is not surprising.
Working Group winner was 3 year old Portuguese Water Dog – GCH Claircreek Impression De Maisse. Dog is called Matisse and has over 238 Best in Show awards during his career. Matisse has won Best in Group for three years in a row at Westminster and was favored to be picked for Best in Show this year. Miss P instead won the heart of the judge.
2nd – Leonberger 3rd – Bernese Mountain Dog 4th – Siberian Husky
It was a fascinating two night run and next year’s show will be just as endearing to all dog lovers across the country. Sadly, the three favorite American dogs, the Golden Retriever, The Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd again missed out on the top honors. The German Shepherd did place 4th in the Herding Group and has won Westminster once in 1987.
Every year these three breeds they are a crowd favorite but for the most part lose out on the highest award at Westminster. We can only conclude that the only winning they do is in the hearts of Americans. As not to diminish its notoriety, that is the highest honor in itself and an honor they have championed for many years. Best In Dog is one award they will hold forever.