CNN — Buddy Holly, the petit basset griffon Vendéen, has been named best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – the first of his breed to win the prestigious contest’s top prize.
The PBGV, who earlier Tuesday won the hound group, charmed judges with his confidence and calm demeanor.
“He’s just everything a PBGV should be – hardheaded, stubborn, happy,” Janice Hayes, Buddy Holly’s handler, said after the pup was named best in show. “He moves just so easily, and we are just so proud of him.”
This year’s result was something of an upset: Winston the French bulldog was the crowd favorite heading into the final round of judging and was looking to claim the top spot after being named best in show reserve at Westminster in 2022.
This year’s runner-up title went to Rummie the Pekingese, the exceedingly hairy, pocket-sized winner of the toy group.
Westminster is one of the oldest sporting events in the US, second only to the Kentucky Derby. Since 1877 – before the American Kennel Club even existed – canines from the frequently winning wire fox terrier and prissy poodle to the bug-eyed boxer and devoted Doberman have vied for best in show.
More than 3,000 dogs from 210 breeds were expected to compete this week, per the Westminster Kennel Club. The canine competitors first face off against other dogs of their breed, during which they’re judged against American Kennel Club breed standards, and the best of the breed goes on to group judging. Dogs are divided into seven groups: Terrier, toy, herding, hound, working, sporting and non-sporting. The best dog within each group moves onto the final round, when best in show is awarded.
Last year’s best in show was awarded to Trumpet the bloodhound, the first of his breed to earn the top spot at Westminster.