x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sky the Wire Fox Terrier wins Best in Show at Westminster

From wire to wire, Sky was America’s top dog. The 5-year-old wire fox terrier won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, finishing off a year in which she was ranked the nation’s No 1 dog.

Best in Show winner Sky, a Wire Fox Terrier poses for photos at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. Stephen Chernin/ EPA
Best in Show winner Sky, a Wire Fox Terrier poses for photos at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. Stephen Chernin/ EPA

NEW YORK // From wire to wire, Sky was America’s top dog.

The 5-year-old wire fox terrier won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, finishing off a year in which she was ranked the nation’s No 1 dog.

Handler Gabriel Rangel scooped up Sky in one arm and kissed judge Betty Regina Leininger’s hand after the title was awarded inside a nearly full Madison Square Garden.

Mr Rangel may have learnt that from his dog.

“Her personality is she loves to kiss people and she connects with everybody,” Mr Rangel said.

This was Sky’s 129th best in show ribbon overall — she became a Triple Crown winner in dogdom, too, having previously taken the National Dog Show and the top AKC event.

A wire fox terrier has won 14 times at the nation’s top dog show. No other breed has won more than eight times.

The winner with the ginger-and-white coat and little terrier goatee beat out an impressive line-up for the final ring. Also competing were a standard poodle, a Portuguese water dog, bloodhound, an Irish water spaniel, a Cardigan Welsh corgi and a miniature pinscher.

“She has the ‘it’ factor. She owned this night,” Ms Leininger said.

The standard poodle named Ally was chosen as the runner-up.

Nathan the bloodhound was clearly the crowd’s pick as all seven dogs circled around in the final ring. The min pin called Classic had won 121 times.

But once again, a terrier prevailed. Terriers have taken 46 of the 105 best in show ribbons presented at an event that dates to the late 19th century.

Mr Rangel, who lives with Sky in Rialto, California, has plenty of experience in winning. He guided Sadie the Scottish terrier to victory at Westminster four years ago.

There were 2,845 dogs entered in the 138th Westminster Kennel Club show. They were eligible in 190 breeds and varieties.

Sky entered the ring only a half-hour or so after winning the terrier group, and was still fresh.

“We’re kind of saving it,” Mr Rangel said shortly before the final competition.

By Wednesday night, the pooch might be pooped. She is scheduled to tour the morning TV news shows, eat a steak lunch at famed Manhattan restaurant Sardi’s and also go up the Empire State Building.

Lofty heights, indeed, for a dog with the champion’s name of Afterall Painting The Sky and accustomed to top treats.

* Associated Press