TARRYTOWN, NY – A Westminster dog show, unlike its 144 predecessors, came to an end on Sunday night, when Wasabi, a three-year-old Beijinger from East Berlin, Pa., Took to the limelight on the shores of the ‘Hudson. River, winning Best in Show honors, the sport’s most coveted award.
Played away from Madison Square Garden for the first time since 1877, the show – the second-oldest sporting event in the United States (the Kentucky Derby is the first) – took place in a white tent on the grounds of a 19th-century Gothic mansion named Lyndhurst, a 25-mile relocation that was aimed at avoiding any possible pandemic complications. The dogs didn’t seem to miss the chaos of downtown or the buzz of tall buildings at all; indeed, by all appearances, they thought open space and fresh air were the best thing to do after a treat.
Wasabi certainly had no problem with the transition, overtaking some 2,500 competitors over two long days to become – literally – Top Dog.
David Fitzpatrick is the owner and manager of Wasabi. The reserve place was given to Bourbon the whippet.
Toy Group wins Best in Show for the first time since 2013
“People think a dog show is a beauty contest, and to some extent it is,” Patricia Trotter, an 85-year-old Westminster icon who was a Best in Show judge, said the day before. of the competition. “But really, when you judge purebred dogs, you’re not just judging their athleticism and beauty, but how close they are to the breed standard.”
Trotter, winner of a record 11 group wins at Westminster, had the heavy responsibility of picking the winner on her own. Best in Show is selected from seven competitors – each of which had to be Best in Breed first and then best in one of the seven groups into which purebred dogs are divided: Hound, Toy, Non-sporting, Sporting, Herding , Working and Terrier.
The tent was decorated with purple and gold panels, with matching flower arrangements and lighting. Although the show was closed to the public of ticket buyers, several hundred spectators – family and friends of the owners and managers – created a boisterous atmosphere, with the excitement peaking just minutes before 11 p.m. ET, when Wasabi hit the jackpot.