NEW YORK — Miss P, a beagle in her final competition before retiring to make puppies, won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club’s competition Tuesday, beating out more than 2,700 canines, including a cousin to White House dog Sunny.
The beagle, who comes from British Columbia, Canada, faced six finalists at the end of the two-day contest, Los Angeles Times reported. They included Sunny’s cousin Matisse, a Portuguese water dog with a crown of glossy curls; Swagger, an old English sheepdog with a name to match his confident attitude; Flame, an elegant black standard poodle; and Rocket, a shih tzu co-owned by Patty Hearst-Shaw, the publishing company heiress whose kidnapping in 1974 by an urban guerrilla group made world headlines.
The other finalists were Liz, an English springer spaniel; and Good Time Charlie, a Skye terrier.
“She was so smooth, so cute. She was just perfection,” the judge of the hound group, Betty-Anne Stenmark, said after anointing Miss P the best hound in the bunch and sending her onto the finals.
“These seven wonderful, magnificent dogs are a tribute to their breeders, their owners and their handlers,” the judge who crowned Miss P, David C. Merriam, said before announcing his selection.
Merriam, of Bonsall, in San Diego County, is a retired California judge who has judged dog shows since 1966. Merriam named Good Time Charlie reserve best in show, or first runner-up.
Miss P became the second beagle to win the coveted title of best in show. She is a niece of Uno, who won at Westminster in 2008, and the shouts and cheers from the audience made it clear the 4-year-old was a crowd favorite, along with Swagger, the old English sheepdog.
Dogs representing 192 breeds from 48 states and 14 countries competed in the show, which is in its 139th year and is an annual tradition in New York City. Judging began Monday, with the field being narrowed by breed and then group: toys, hounds, terriers, working, sporting and non-sporting.
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