Meet America's New Top Dog

Siba is first poodle to win Westminster since 2002
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2020 12:17 AM CST
Poodle Is America's New Top Dog
Siba, the standard poodle, poses for photographs after winning Best in Show in the 144th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Primped and poised, Siba the standard poodle owned the ring. Even with the crowd at Madison Square Garden chanting for a popular golden retriever, the statuesque Siba strutted off with best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night. Adorned with black puffs and pompoms, the 3-year-old Siba was the absolute picture of what many see as the epitome of a show dog, the AP reports. Not everyone shared that view. As judge Bob Slay studied Siba in the best-of-seven final ring, a fan shouted out: "No way, Slay, no way!” Slay stuck by what he saw. "She's beautiful and has that something," handler Chrystal Murray-Clas says. Siba was showing for the last time, set to retire after this event. "She had the something extra at a young age," Murray-Clas says.

Bourbon the whippet finished second. Daniel the golden retriever was clearly the crowd favorite—a golden has never won at Westminster—and fans chanted his name as Slay deliberated. Bono the Havanese, Wilma the boxer, Conrad the Shetland sheepdog, and Vinny the wire fox terrier also made the final grouping. Poodles come in three sizes and this was the 10th time one of them has become America's top dog, the first since 2002. A standard last won in 1991. Siba put on an entertaining performance in the nonsporting group judging Monday night, doing the downward dog yoga pose before circling the ring. A day later, she was again at her best. The Westminster winner receives no prize money in a sport where owners can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their pet. Instead, the reward is a silver bowl, lucrative breeding rights and a lifetime of bragging rights in dog lore.

(More Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show stories.)

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