NEW YORK — Sky, a wire fox terrier and the top show dog in the country last year, became America’s top dog Tuesday night, winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club in New York. A white standard poodle with Northwest ties came in second, winning Reserve Best in Show.
Sky (GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky) beat out the poodle, a Portuguese water dog, a bloodhound, an Issaquah-owned Irish water spaniel, a Cardigan Welsh corgi and a miniature pinscher to grab the big prize.
Ally (GCH CH Brighton Lakeridge Encore), the standard poodle owned by a New York couple, was handled by Tim Brazier, of Woodinville, and co-bred by Debra Ferguson Jones, of Renton. The Irish water spaniel, Riley (GCH Whistlestop’s Riley on Fire), won the sporting group Tuesday. Riley is owned by Tom and Bethany Urban and Gregory Siner, of Issaquah.
Judge Betty Regina Leininger picked the winner inside a nearly full Madison Square Garden as the fans called out for their favorites.
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This was the record 14th time a wire fox terrier has won at the nation’s most popular dog show.
Handler Gabriel Rangel, who won Westminster four years ago while guiding Sadie the Scottish terrier, led Sky to her 129th best in show ribbon overall. She became a Triple Crown winner in dogdom, having previously won the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in 2012 and the National Dog Show in Philadelphia.
Five-year-old Sky lives in Rialto, Calif., with Rangel.
There were 2,845 dogs entered in the 138th Westminster Kennel Club show. They were eligible in 190 breeds and varieties.
In addition to Sky, Ally and Riley, the other finalists were Matisse (GCH CH Claircreek’s Impression de Matisse), a Portuguese water dog who won the working group; Nathan (GCH CH Flessner’s International S’Cess), who won the hound group; Classie (GCH CH Marlex Classic Red Glare), the top-winning miniature pinscher in breed history who won the toy group; and Coco Posh, a Cardigan Welsh corgi (GCH CH Riverside Telltail Coco Posh), who won the herding group.
Nathan the bloodhound was clearly the crowd’s pick as all seven dogs circled around in the final ring.
But once again, a terrier prevailed. Terriers have taken 46 of the 105 Best in Show ribbons presented at the event, which dates to the late 19th century.
Sky entered the ring only a half-hour after winning the terrier group and was still fresh. “We’re kind of saving it,” Rangel said shortly before the final competition.
When Ally won the non-sporting group Monday, Ferguson Jones said she was excited and felt confident in Ally’s chances.“She’s so feminine and she’s so elegant,” Ferguson Jones said from New York. “You know when you look at her that she is a female.”
Information from Seattle Times staff is included