Now this dog has something to spin about.
A bloodhound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Wednesday night.
Trumpet defeated a French Bulldog, a German Shepherd, a Maltese, an English Setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland Terrier to take the trophy.
“I’m so excited for Trumpet,” said handler Heather Helmer, who co-owns and breeds the 4-year-old.
Trumpet became the first bloodhound to win Westminster.
Winston, a French bulldog co-owned by NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox, came in second in the nation’s most prestigious dog show.
The competition attracted more than 3,000 purebred dogs ranging from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers. The goal is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed.
The show, usually held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden in winter, 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 wanted to make the same for Fox, a defensive lineman who had just been signed by the Los Angeles Chargers and has played for the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
Before the finale, Fox said he was “ecstatic” when Winston got there.
“He’s basically a superstar,” Fox said by phone on Wednesday.
The dog came from his grandmother, Sandy Fox, who has been breeding and showing Frenchies for years. Morgan Fox grew up with a dog and says when he watched Winston grow up, he knew the dog was a winner in both looks and character.
“He’s a joy to be around,” Fox said. “He always walks around with the smile on his face that a dog can have.”
Winston, currently the top-ranked dog in the country, took on Striker, a Samoyed who also made the final last year; River, a German Shepherd who won big, and Trumpet, a bloodhound descended from the 2014 winner of another major show, the National Dog Show in the Thanksgiving season.
Having topped the dog rankings last year, Striker has recently attended a few dog shows “to keep his head up,” said handler Laura King.
What makes the snow-white Samoyed shine in competition? “His heart,” said King of Milan, Illinois.
“His charisma comes through when he shows up,” and he complains vocally when he isn’t, she said.
As he was silent in the ring, an Alaskan Malamute provoked a screech–cheers? – soundtrack for a semi-final featuring the Samoyed and other breeds classified as working dogs.
Then there’s MM the Lakeland Terrier—terriers have won many a Westminster—and a Maltese clearly aspiring to stardom: her name is Hollywood.
But the beauty of the ball could be an English Setter. Belle made the finals after being called into the ring by one of her breeders and owners, Amanda Ciaravino – a feat at an event where many top contenders are joined by full-time career counselors.
“It’s great,” said an emotional Ciaravino. “I’m so proud of her.”
Monty, a Giant Schnauzer who made it to the semi-finals on Wednesday night but failed to progress, is a son of the dog that won second prize at Westminster in 2018. Classified as a working dog, Monty enjoys yard work — which for him means presenting a football to be thrown while handler and co-owner Katie Bernardin’s husband, Adam, mows the lawn, she said.
Another competitor, Ooma, was the only Chinook to show up. The sled pullers are the official state dog of New Hampshire, but they are rare nationwide.
“I’d love to see a few more” in the Westminster ring, said Ooma’s breeder, owner and handler, Patti Richards of West Haven, Vermont. “Without people to show and breed, we risk losing our breed.”
Bonnie de Bretagne is owner-handler Dr. Jessica Sielawa’s first show dog, and the two didn’t get away with a ribbon on Wednesday. But their teamwork extends beyond the ring.
Bonnie mentors Sielawa to work at her chiropractic practice in Syracuse, New York, where “she has really helped people with their emotional stress,” Sielawa said.
She plans to have her show dog certified as a therapy dog as well.