King the wire fox terrier takes Westminster’s best in show

Wire fox terriers have won 15 times at the nation’s most prestigious dog show

Wire fox terriers are still King at Westminster.

A wire fox from Brazil who’s won big in Europe became America’s top dog Tuesday night, beating out a crowd-pleasing longhaired dachshund and popular Sussex spaniel.

There were some boos — along with modest cheers — at Madison Square Garden when judge Peter Green pointed at the 7-year-old King.

“It doesn’t get any better than that,” handler Gabriel Rangel said.

The win was hardly a surprise.

Wire fox terriers have won 15 times at the nation’s most prestigious dog show, far more than any other breed (Scottish terriers are second, with eight).

Green is a renowned figure in the dog world, especially for his work with terriers. He’s previously picked King as the champ at other shows.

Wired to win, this dog was.

“I look at King, he’s like a beautiful painting, a piece of art,” Rangel praised earlier in the day. “The way he stands and performs, he’s the whole package.”

A Havanese named Bono came in second among the more than 2,800 dogs who entered here.

Also in the final ring were Bean the Sussex spaniel, Burns the longhaired dachshund, Wilma the boxer and Baby Lars the bouviers des Flandres.

The fan favourites at the Garden were clearly Bean and Burns.

Chants of “Bean! Bean! Bean!” bounced around the packed arena as the Sussex spaniel rounded the ring. And Burns drew loud cheers as his long hair flowed while circling the green carpet.

There was a bit of dog show drama, too, at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club.

A day after earning a coveted spot in the final ring of seven, spirited Colton the schipperke was ruled ineligible for best in show.

There was a conflict of interest — Green’s longtime partner has co-owned dogs with one of Colton’s co-owners. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused.

“This doesn’t negate all he’s done here,” handler Christa Cook said as she brushed Colton’s colt backstage at the Garden. “It’s been a great experience, his accomplishment is in the book forever.”

Wagging his tail, the tri-colored King was completely in control under Rangel, who won for the third time at Westminster.

Rangel teared up in the middle of the ring after the win, overwhelmed by the moment and the recognition from Green.

“Special win because of that judge,” Rangel said.

Neither he nor King will have much time to rest.

READ MORE: A breed apart: Rare Westminster dogs have ring to themselves

Wednesday’s victory lap includes visits to morning television shows, a steak lunch at midtown eatery Sardi’s, a trip up the Empire State Building and a walk-on part in the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman.”

Owner Victor Malzoni Jr. of Brazil gets no prize money for this win. Besides a shiny silver bowl, the reward comes in lucrative breeding rights and a lifetime of bragging rights.

This was the 47th overall best in show win for the wire fox with a full name of Kingarthur Van Foliny Home. He’s also done well at the largest dog show in the world, Crufts in England.

Packed with personality, Burns had all the qualities of a Westminster champion.

He had a great coat. He had a wonderful gait. He had a playful spirit.

But did he have the right combination to become the big winner here? His body of work said yes. History said no.

“Best in show breeds need the flash to compete,” handler Carlos Puig said in the afternoon.

Despite always being among the nation’s most popular dogs, a dachshund has never won best in show at Westminster. Neither has a Havanese, schipperke or bouviers des Flandres.

Rangel twice previously guided terriers to best in show at Westminster — Sadie the Scottie in 2010 and Sky the wire fox in 2014.

That’s a lot better showing than popular golden retrievers and Labs. They’ve never taken the top title at Westminster.

“I love goldens. They’re so sweet, you just want to hold them,” he said. “But they don’t have that sharp expression.”

___

AP freelance writer Ginger Tidwell-Walker contributed to this report.

___

Ben Walker, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Team Harrison prevails in Port Alberni men’s bonspiel

Annual bonspiel drew 20 teams from out of town

Wedding plans derailed following City of Port Alberni’s train announcement

Five wedding parties are scrambling to find alternate transportation arrangements to McLean… Continue reading

Kids help Alberni Aquarium build rockfish luminary for next exhibit

Swimming For Change takes over in time for spring break

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Mount Arrowsmith skaters get tips from Olympic athlete

Larkyn Austman visited Port Alberni for winter carnival

Lehner posts 4th shutout as Isles blank Canucks 4-0

Vancouver drops third game in a row

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

B.C. man creates Indigenous colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

Most Read