Now this hound has something to joke about.
A hound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Wednesday night.
Trumpet beat a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland terrier to take the trophy.
“I’m so excited for Trumpet,” said host Heather Helmer, who co-owns and raises the 4-year-old.
Trumpet became the first bloodhound to win Westminster.
Winston, a French bulldog co-owned with NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox, finished second in the nation’s most prestigious dog show.
The competition attracted more than 3,000 purebred dogs, from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire terriers. The goal is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed.
Usually held in the winter at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the show moved to suburban Lyndhurst estate last year and this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Westminster is often described as the Super Bowl of US dog shows, and Winston aimed to do so for Fox, a defensive lineman who had just been signed by the Los Angeles Chargers and played for the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
Before the finals, Fox said he was “ecstatic” when Winston arrived there.
“He’s basically a superstar,” Fox said on the phone Wednesday.
The dog came from his grandmother, Sandy Fox, who has been raising and showing the French for years. Morgan Fox grew up with one of them and says that as he watched Winston mature, he knew the dog was a winner in both looks and character.
“It’s a joy to be around,” Fox said. “He always walks around with a smile on his face like a dog can have.”
Winston, currently the tallest dog in the country, faced Striker, a Samoyed who also reached the final last year; River, a very successful German Shepherd, and Trumpet, a bloodhound descended from the 2014 winner of another major show, the National Dog Show of the Thanksgiving season.
After climbing the dog rankings last year, Striker recently attended a few dog shows “to keep her head on the line,” said host Laura King.
What makes the snow white Samoyed shine in competition? “His heart,” said King, of Milan, Illinois.
“His charisma shows when he shows himself,” and openly complains when he’s not, he said.
While he was quiet in the ring, an Alaskan Malamute let out a howl – typhus? – soundtrack of a semifinal with the Samoyed and other breeds classified as working dogs.
Then there are MM the Lakeland terrier – terriers have won many in Westminster – and a Maltese who clearly aims for stardom: her name is Hollywood.
But the beauty of the dance could be an English setter. Belle made it to the finals after being rang in the ring by one of her breeders and owners, Amanda Ciaravino, a venture into an event where many of the top contenders are accompanied by full-time career workers.
“It’s incredible,” said an excited Ciaravino. “I’m so proud of her.”
Monty, a giant schnauzer who reached the semifinals on Wednesday night but didn’t advance any further, is the son of the dog who won the second Westminster prize in 2018. Classified as a working dog, Monty loves garden work – which, to him , it means presenting a soccer ball to throw while host and co-owner Katie Bernardin’s husband Adam is mowing the lawn, she said.
Another competitor, Ooma, was the only Chinook that showed up. Sled shooters are the official state dog of New Hampshire, but they are rare nationwide.
“I’d love to see a couple more” in the Westminster ring, said Ooma breeder, owner and breeder Patti Richards of West Haven, Vermont. “Without people who will show and reproduce, we risk losing our race.”
Bonnie the Brittany is Dr. Jessica Sielawa’s first show dog, and the two didn’t come off with a tape on Wednesday. But their teamwork extends beyond the ring.
Bonnie accompanies Sielawa to work in her chiropractic office in Syracuse, New York, where “she has really helped people with their emotional stress,” Sielawa said.
He also plans to get his show dog certified as a therapy dog.