(NEW YORK) -- The 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show had a surprise winner Tuesday when a Pekingnese took the coveted Best in Show prize in New York.
Malachy, the 4-year-old winner at this year’s Westminster show, made it to the final round at the 2011 show but ultimately lost to Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound. This year marks the first time since 1990 the breed took a victory lap at the nation’s top dog show.
Reaction on the ground Tuesday night was that the Malachy has come close so many times that it was an “owed” win. Handler David Fitzpatrick, however, has had multiple winners.
This win marks Malachy’s 115th overall Best in Show title. On Westminster’s opening night he had been named best in the Toy group, which is considered the show’s most competitive category.
Judge Cindy Vogels selected the four-year-old Pekingnese amidst a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden, where he defeated a Dalmatian, German shepherd, Doberman pinscher, Irish setter, a Kerry blue terrier and wire-haired dachshund to win the silver bowl.
Although the winner at Westminster does not receive any prize money, the prestige of a win is priceless and will undoubtedly bring in plenty in breeding potential.
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