Miniature poodle named Sage wins Westminster Kennel Club dog show

15 May 2024, 11:14

Westminster Dog Show
Westminster Dog Show. Picture: PA

The best in show winner gets a trophy and a place in dog-world history, but no cash prize.

A miniature poodle named Sage won the top prize at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, in what veteran handler Kaz Hosaka said would be his final time at the United States’ most prestigious canine event.

Sage notched the 11th triumph for poodles of various sizes at Westminster; only wire fox terriers have won more.

The last miniature poodle to take the trophy was Spice, with Mr Hosaka, in 2002.

Westminster Dog Show
Mercedes, a German shepherd, takes part in the best in show competition (Julia Nikhinson/AP)

Striding briskly and proudly around the ring, the inky-black poodle “gave a great performance for me”, Mr Hosaka added.

Sage bested six other finalists to take best in show. Second went to Mercedes, a German shepherd whose handler, Kent Boyles, also has shepherded a best in show winner before.

Others in the final round included Comet, a shih tzu who won the big American Kennel Club National Championship last year; Monty, a giant schnauzer who arrived at Westminster as the nation’s top-ranked dog and was a Westminster finalist last year; Louis, an Afghan hound; Micah, a black cocker spaniel; and Frankie, a coloured bull terrier.

While Sage was going around the ring, a protester carrying a sign urging people to “boycott breeders” tried to climb in and was quickly intercepted by security personnel.

Police and the animal rights group Peta said three demonstrators were arrested. Charges have not yet been decided.

Westminster Dog Show
Sage, a miniature poodle, competes with handler Kaz Hosaka (Julia Nikhinson/AP)

In an event where all competitors are champions in dog showing’s point system, winning can depend on subtleties and a stand-out turn at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, home of the US Open tennis tournament.

The final line-up was “excellent, glorious”, best in show judge Rosalind Kramer said.

To Monty’s handler and co-owner, Katie Bernardin, “just to be in the ring with everyone else is an honour”.

“We all love our dogs. We’re trying our best,” she said in the ring after Monty’s semi-final win.

Dogs first compete against others of their breed. Then the winner of each breed goes up against others in its “group”. The seven group winners meet in the final round.

The best in show winner gets a trophy and a place in dog-world history, but no cash prize.

The Westminster show, which dates to 1877, centres on the traditional pure-bred judging that leads to the best in show prize. But over the last decade, the club has added agility and obedience events open to mixed-breed dogs.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

France Cannes 2024 Awards Ceremony

Sex worker drama Anora wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival

Chile Forest Fires

Volunteer firefighter accused of causing fire that killed 137 people

Election 2024 Trump

Donald Trump confronts repeated booing during Libertarian convention speech

Obit Richard Sherman

Award-winning Disney songwriter Richard Sherman dies aged 95

France New Caledonia

Pro-independence leader in New Caledonia calls for resistance against France

India Fire

Four children among at least 27 dead in fire at amusement park in western India

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 16: Grayson Murray hits a tee shot on No. 5 during the first round of the PGA Championship, May 16, 2024, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.(Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray dead at 30 after withdrawing from tournament through illness

Italy G7 Finance Ministers

G7 moves towards agreement on money for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets

Nicki Minaj has been arrested on suspicion on carrying drugs at Amsterdam Airport throwing her show at the troubled Co-Op Live Arena tonight into turmoil.

Nicki Minaj arrested on suspicion of carrying drugs in Amsterdam as singer cancels Manchester show

Sexual Misconduct Harvey Weinstein

Prosecutors accuse Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer of violating conduct rules

France Cannes 2024 Awards Ceremony

Cannes Film Festival draws to close as stars arrive for Palme d’Or presentation

Volodymyr Zelensky

Zelensky says Ukraine has taken back control in areas of Kharkiv region

Israeli offensive

Egypt agrees to send aid trucks through Israeli crossing to Gaza

Japanese cat shrine

Shrine honours cats on Japanese island where felines outnumber humans

Avocado

Guac-jackers steal 40 tonnes of avocados

Papua New Guinea Landslide

Emergency convoy takes aid to survivors of Papua New Guinea landslide