Best in Show – WKC Dog Show Day 2 Recap
After an electrifying day 1 at Madison Square Garden, Day 2 of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show did not disappoint in the build up to Best in Show. After some incredible talent in the first day’s groups, the canines of the Sporting, Working, and Terrier groups were the focus of the first part of the night, rounding out the field for Best in Show. After some surprises on Day 1 with the Schipperke, Havanese, Dachshund, and Bouvier des Flandres winning their groups, Day 2 saw some surprises mixed with some traditional winners.
Without further ado, let’s break down the final groups and get to the crown of Best in Show.
Winner: Sussex Spaniel
2nd Place: Irish Setter
3rd Place: American Water Spaniel
4th Place: Black Cocker Spaniel
The Sporting Group is where many of the more athletic dogs are featured. Yeah, big surprise there. This group is also home to some of the more popular American dog breeds, including the Labs and the All American Good Boy, the Golden Retriever.
Even with the unofficial moniker of the People’s Champ, the crowd love couldn’t quite elevate the Golden to Best in Show level. This year, the sporting group belonged to the Spaniels, with three of the four placing dogs being in this family of pups. The Sussex, while not as popular or athletic as some other breeds, certainly left its mark as a dog that lived up to its friendly demeanor.
I mean this guy is just adorable. Bean, your ticket to Best in Show has been punched.
2nd Place: Siberian Husky
3rd Place: Kuvaszok
4th Place: Doberman Pinscher
Following up the Sporting group, the Working Group features perhaps the most physically imposing dogs in the Westminster Kennel Club show. This group includes Mastiffs, Boxers, Huskies, Rottweilers, Mountain Dogs, just the real heavyweights of the show. I mean if Air Bud were a real thing, I’d bookend my offensive line with these two guys:
This group certainly started with a bang, with my personal favorite in the group the Akita making waves. Although it made the finals for this group, it couldn’t quite place.
From there, you had some dogs that combined athleticism and build with majesty and personality, like the Siberian Husky:
And the…well however you wanna describe the Komondor
Ultimately, it was the Boxer who came out on top, deservedly so. This dog was a beast, moving powerfully and with the perfect build for the breed. When you can put it all together like that, you’re gonna be competing for Best in Show year in and year out. To continue the Air Bud analogy from earlier this guy would be a strong contender for RB1 on my team.
Winner: Wire Fox Terrier
2nd Place: American Staffordshire Terrier
3rd Place: Skye Terrier
4th Place: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
At long last, we get to the last group of the show before the Best in Show competition, the Terrier Group. Seemingly oddly specific with all but 5 Terrier breeds on display coming from the British Isles, the Terriers are a powerhouse of a group, with numerous Best in Class champions over the years.
A lot of these dogs are similar, being playful personalities yet hardworking with a hint of athleticism. Some of the crowd favorites from this year included the Norwich terrier (basically a little Teddy Bear):
The Cairn Terrier, aka Toto from the Wizard of Oz
And the historically successful Scottish Terrier
After all that, none of the Terriers were a match for the aptly named King the Wire Fox Terrier. This breed is an absolute force, having won 14 Best in Show crowns over the years, the most of any breed. A majestic dog with a perfect gait and a splash of that playful spirit, King kept his breed’s legacy going tonight.
Best in Show
Contestants: Burns the Longhaired Dachshund, Bono the Havenese, Baby Lars the Bouvier des Flandres, Bean the Sussex Spaniel, Wilma the Boxer, King the Wire Fox Terrier, Colton the Schipperke*
Reserve Best in Show (2nd Place): Bono the Havanese
Best in Show Winner: King the Wire Fox Terrier
Finally, we get to the main event, the granddaddy of them all, Best in Show. At this point, it’s hard to determine a winner, as all the dogs that get this far are incredible animals. It really comes down to small minutiae and judge preference. Unfortunately, Colton the Schipperke was ruled ineligible before Best in Show tonight due to a conflict of interest, so only six dogs competed for the crown. Apparently Colton’s owner has worked with the Best in Show Judge for this year, leading to the NCAA-like punishment of the dog who did nothing wrong.
My prediction for the winner was Burns the Dachshund, who moved beautifully and had a smiling personality and crowd presence judges seem to love on the big stage. However, showing my knowledge of the sport, Burns came in neither first or second.
Second place went to Bono the Havanese, a gorgeous dog who made history for it’s breed, almost becoming the first Havenese to ever win Best in Show.
However, when the dust settled, the Dynasty continued with King the Wire Fox Terrier taking home Best in Show, the 15th winner of its breed. As I said earlier, it’s really hard to argue against any of these dogs winning Best in Show, but Kings stay Kings.
Til next year, folks.