Wire fox terrier named Westminster's best in show

Maud Earl's 1896 oil painting of a St. Bernard titled

Seven of the finest specimens in the pedigree dog world will face off on Tuesday evening, as the Westminster Kennel Club's annual pageant in NY comes to a dramatic close with the awarding of the coveted title of "Best in Show". The Wire Fox Terrier has more Westminster wins than any other dog breed.

A Havanese named Bono came in second among the more than 2,800 dogs who entered here.

The crowd at Madison Square Garden seemed nearly taken aback when judge Peter Green revealed his choice over a pair of overwhelmingly popular favorites: a longhaired dachshund looking to break a centuries-spanning hoodoo and a charismatic Sussex spaniel back in the final ring for the second year in a row. According to the Washington Post, Colton was ruled ineligible for Best in Show because of a "conflict of interest between the dog's owners and the family of the best in show judge".

Expected to do well, 7-year-old King won in breed judging Tuesday morning and advanced to the terrier group round. Last year, Flynn, a bichon frise handled by Bill McFadden of Acampo, California, won best in show.

Close behind King was Bono the Havanese, who won second place - also known as Reserve Best in Show - at Westminster this year. The clumber spaniel and Welsh springer spaniel were eliminated because the judge was a breeder of both dogs.

Judges decide which dog is "best" by comparing the dog against its own breed's ideal standards.

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Cheers filled Madison Square Garden as the short-legged, long-eared dog lumbered around the ring. Colton the schipperke is out of the show!

There was drama among finalists that led to six group winners instead of seven competing for best in show. So by rule, Colton is out. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused. Thanks to the dog show's carefully placed cameras, you can see Gabby whip though the tunnel and zip through the weave poles. As owner Alicia Collins put it, "When it's cold at home, it's 50 degrees". Collins says her dog seemed "a little mopey" about having to wear something besides the coat he was born with.

Picasso earned a ribbon in his breed Tuesday, on his first trip to Westminster.

"I love goldens. They're so sweet, you just want to hold them", he said.

That's a lot better showing than popular golden retrievers and Labs.

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