A petit basset griffon Vendeen named Buddy Holly won best of show on Tuesday in the 147th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, beating out more than 3,000 dogs from 210 breeds and varieties to claim the most prestigious U.S. prize.
A six-year-old male from Palm Springs, California, Buddy Holly became the first of his breed to win. The dogs were bred to track hares in the Vendee department of western France.
“I never thought PBGV would do this, Janice Hayes, the dog’s co-owner and handler, said after the show. “Buddy Holly is the epitome of the dog show.”
Each breed produces a winner, representing the best of what artificial selection can create from the descendants of wolves. Breed winners are separated into seven groups to determine the best of-show finalists: hound, toy, non-sporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier.
A Setter Irish Red & White dog competes Sporting group during the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, U.S | Reuters
Buddy Holly won the hound group. The prize for reserve best in show, or runner-up, went to the winner of the toy group, a Pekingese named Rummie, from breeder and owner David Fitzpatrick.
Judges examine the dogs up close, placing their hands on the animal, then watch the handlers lead them around the floor, grading them on breed standards for appearance, temperament, size, coat and other characteristics.
Chance, a Black Cocker Spaniel, waits for its presentation during the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show | Reuters
The show, which dates to 1877 and has become a mainstay annual television event, was held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the New York City borough of Queens, site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Traditionally held at Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan, the show was moved upstate to a smaller arena on the expansive grounds of Lyndhurst Mansion during the previous two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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