Wilma the boxer is now a page right out of Westminster history.
She won the working group at the show, celebrating by springing up onto handler Michael Shepherd. Then the 3-year-old regarded the crowd from the podium with a sanguine stare.
Yes, she’s named after Wilma in “The Flintstones.” Her registered name is Cinnibon’s Bedrock Bombshell — Bedrock as in the city where the cartoon characters lived.
Wilma has logged 60 best-in-show wins in her career, but Shepherd says winning the group at Westminster is “the stuff you dream of.”
But he said that for Wilma, it was “business as usual” as she entered the ring.
Next up is the terrier group. Then it’s the best in show competition, where group winners go up against one another.
It just might be easy being Bean.
A Sussex spaniel named Bean won the sporting group at Westminster for the second year in a row.
Cheers filled Madison Square Garden as the short-legged, long-eared dog lumbered around the ring. Chants of “Bean! Bean! Bean!” followed his win.
As if Bean hadn’t charmed the crowd enough, he sat up on his hind legs as handler Per Rismyhr gave an in-ring interview — and said it would be Bean’s last show.
At 7 1/2, Bean is the grandson of the oldest Best in Show winner in Westminster history: Stump, the winner in 2009.
In an unexpected turn, a clumber spaniel and Welsh springer spaniel were both ruled ineligible shortly before judging started. That’s because the judge was a breeder of both dogs.
Dog drama at the Westminster Kennel Club … Colton the schipperke is out of the show!
A day after winning the nonsporting group and a place in the final ring of seven, Colton was ruled ineligible for best in show.
There was a conflict of interest between the dog’s owners and the family of the best in show judge. So by rule, Colton is out.
Colton will be allowed to walk onto the green carpet with the other six contenders at Madison Square Garden, then will get excused from the ring.
Some Westminster Kennel Club show dogs are contending with a challenge besides the competition: winter.
Tuesday’s snow and sleet in New York was far from the norm for Picasso, a Staffordshire bull terrier from Santa Rosa, California. As owner Alicia Collins put it, “When it’s cold at home, it’s 50 degrees.”
Picasso was sporting a stylish coat with a Union Jack design as he left the venue. Collins says her dog seemed “a little mopey” about having to wear something besides the coat he was born with.
And, she says, he walks on snow as though it’s hot coals.
Picasso earned a ribbon in his breed Tuesday, on his first trip to Westminster. Collins calls the show “a good way to educate people” about the burly breed.
One of Westminster’s new breeds is also perhaps its shyest.
Inquiring dog show visitors kept walking past the staging area for the Nederlandse kooikerhandjes, hoping to say hello to the first-time competitors. They might have had an easier time pronouncing the breed’s Dutch name — it’s NAY’-dehr-lahn-seh KOY’-kehr-hahnd-jeh, by the way.
The medium-sized, orange and white dogs aren’t big on other canines, nor are they keen to meet strangers. Throughout Tuesday, they almost all stayed locked away in cages and hiding out from the backstage bustle — a rare occurrence in a warehouse full of gregarious labs and curious terriers.
Primadonna, the first ever Nederlandse kooikerhandje champion at an event in January of 2018, stuck close to handler Deborah Bean when dragged from her lair. Primadonna got a ribbon Tuesday, and now the 5 1/2-year-old is ready for retirement — something Bean revealed while wiping away a tear.
“She does this because she loves me, not because she loves this,” Bean said. “It’s my turn to say, ‘I will do what you like.'”
A prized wire fox terrier has taken some early winning steps at the Westminster Kennel Club.
Expected to do well, 7-year-old King won in breed judging Tuesday morning and advanced to the terrier group round.
The best in show at the 143rd Westminster will be picked around 11 p.m. Already in the final ring of seven are Burns the longhaired dachshund, Bono the Havanese, Colton the schipperke and Baby Lars the bouviers des Flandres.