Dogs and Drama and Disqualification, Oh My

Danielle Perea, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The 143rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show took place from February 11th to 12th in Madison Square Garden. A Wire fox terrier named King was crowned as the winner of this year’s Best in Show award.

  This dog show is the most prestigious annual pet show, as well as the second-oldest continuous sporting event in America. In the competition, hundreds of purebred dogs are sorted into seven groups based on breed: hound, toy, non-sporting, sporting, working, herding, and terrier.

  The dogs first compete for the Best in Breed award and then move onto the Best of Group competition. The winners of these groups then go against each other for the Best in Show award.

  This year, 204 different breeds of dogs were eligible to take part in the show and around 2,800 dogs entered.

  King is the 47th terrier to be given this award. Wire fox terriers have won the title the most out of any bree- at fifteen times – and the terrier group as a whole has won more than any other group.

  King’s opposition for this year’s Best in Show award were Bono, a Havanese, Bean, a Sussex spaniel, Burns, a longhaired dachshund, Baby Lars, a bouviers des Flandres, and Wilma, a boxer. Bono came in second and was given the reserve Best in Show.

  However, it seemed that these dogs were not the only ones in the arena who opposed King. When he was announced as winner, he was met with boos and dissatisfaction. Just after chanting Bean’s name when King was crowned winner, many in the crowd were disappointed to find that their favorite had lost. When interviewed, Bean’s trainer revealed it would be the dog’s last year of competition.

  Izel Arambula (10), who loves and owns dogs, was disappointed with these results. She said, “Bean should have won for sure. He’s such a good boy and we all love him, and yet he still didn’t get Best in Show.”

  Viewers also noticed that this year, there were only six competitors for the Best in Show award, instead of the usual seven. Colton, a schipperke, was deemed ineligible for the award because the judge, Peter Green’s longtime partner, has co-owned dogs with one of Colton’s co-owners. The schipperke was allowed to run around the ring when finalists were announced and was excused afterwards.

  Shreshta Kumar (10), who owns a dog, was upset about Colton being disqualified. She said, “It’s so sad how the poor little guy didn’t get to compete in the end. It wasn’t his fault, but I guess that’s the way things are sometimes.”

  While Bean will never get another opportunity to win Best in Show, next year brings new possibilities for other dogs. These canine contenders will be in the spotlight again next year for the 144th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is scheduled to take place from February 10th to 11th in 2020.