NEW YORK (AP) — Wire fox terriers are still King at Westminster.
A wire fox from Brazil who’s won big in Europe became America’s top dog Tuesday night, beating out a crowd-pleasing longhaired dachshund and popular Sussex spaniel.
There were some boos — along with modest cheers — when judge Peter Green pointed at the 7-year-old King.
But the win was hardly a surprise.
Wire fox terriers have won 15 times at the nation’s most prestigious dog show, far more than any other breed (Scottish terriers, with eight). Green is a renowned figure in the dog world, especially for his work with terriers.
A Havanese named Bono came in second among the more than 2,800 dogs who entered this show.
Also in the final ring were Bean the Sussex spaniel, Burns the longhaired dachshund, Wilma the boxer and Baby Lars the bouviers des Flandres.
There was a bit of dog show drama at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club, too.
A day after earning a coveted spot in the final ring of seven, spirited Colton the schipperke was ruled ineligible for best in show.
There was a conflict of interest — Green’s longtime partner has co-owned dogs with one of Colton’s co-owners. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused.
Wagging his tail, King was completely in control under handler Gabriel Rangel, who won for the third time at Westminster.
Rangel teared up in the middle of the ring after the win, overwhelmed by the moment.
“I look at King, he’s like a beautiful painting, a piece of art,” Rangel said earlier in the day. “The way he stands and performs, he’s the whole package.”
Neither he nor King will have much time to rest.
Wednesday’s victory lap includes visits to morning television shows, a steak lunch at midtown eatery Sardi’s, a trip up the Empire State Building and possibly a walk-on part in the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman.”
There is no prize money for the win, incidentally. Besides a shiny silver bowl, the reward comes in lucrative breeding rights and a lifetime of bragging rights.
This was the 47th overall best in show win for the wire fox with a champion’s name of Kingarthur Van Foliny Home. He’s also done well at the largest dog show in the world, Crufts in England.
The fan favorites at the Garden were clearly Bean and Burns.
Chants of “Bean! Bean! Bean!” bounced around the packed arena as the Sussex spaniel rounded the ring. And Burns drew loud cheers as his long hair flowed while circling the green carpet.