Westminster dog show gets 4 finalists, One has ties to the NFL: Porsche, the first contender from her breed, the Russian toy, was one of Hollywood’s miniature rivals in the toy group.
Westminster Dog Show
Will the dog announce a victory or is its little cousin just playing with one? What about the French bulldog owned by an NFL player? Or does the German shepherd have the flow to take the top prize?
The Westminster Kennel Club dog show’s semifinalist candidates were picked on Tuesday.
They are Trumpet the bloodhound, Hollywood the Maltese, Winston the French bulldog, and River the German shepherd.
On Wednesday night, when all seven contestants compete for the prized best in show award, three additional finalists will be chosen.
Defensive player Morgan Fox, who was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers last month after spending six seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers, is one of Winston’s owners.
After Winston’s victory, Fox tweeted, “If this is how my parents felt watching my games all these years, I apologize.”
Athletes have found their way to Westminster in the past.
In the 1930s, Hall of Famer Mike Mussina and former New York Yankees star Lou Gehrig also entered dogs in the tournament with their German shepherds.
Big league catcher Ryan Hanigan owned a breed-winning Australian shepherd during his playing days and former Florida State linebacker Keith Carter showed a Rottweiler.
Trumpet, a bloodhound from a legendary family, likes for the people and bustle of the big performance, his handlers say.
Although handler Lenny Brown said they are taking the competition “one step at a time,” River handled the ring with ease.
Hollywood also boasts star power.
She delights in competing. And she loves outside the ring, too,” handler Tim Lehman told the crowd in an in-ring interview.
Among Hollywood’s pint-sized opponents in the toy group was Porsche, the first-ever semifinalist from her breed, the Russian toy.
This year, it very recently got eligible for the Westminster show. Not about a year and a half old, Porsche took a spirited turn beneath the lights Tuesday night.
Before the tournament, owner and handler Jolanta Terrell of North Palm Beach, Florida, commented, “Small dog, but tremendous personality.”
The mudi, a Hungarian herding dog, was also novel. The first Westminster trophy for the breed was won by a mudi named Guava.
On the other hand, the American Staffordshire terrier champion Louie will compete in the semifinals on Wednesday in an effort to win best in show.
After winning the top prize at dozens of other events, the 8 1/2-year-old Louie is retiring after Westminster, where he’s made the semifinals numerous times.
He only needed to look at his rivals to realize his legacy, regardless of what happens Wednesday night. Tuesday’s breed competition saw him win ribbons alongside two of his daughters and one of his sons.
And to owner Kim Rudzik of Westfield, Massachusetts, Louie has a grander title than best in the show.
The best dog ever, she proclaimed.