Winston, a cream French bulldog, claimed top honors at this year’s National Dog Show. The three-year-old beat six other finalists for Best Show at the annual event, hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and broadcast on NBC’s Thanksgiving Day.
After being declared the winner, Winston was lifted into the air and twirled across the royal blue carpet by his handler and co-owner, Perry Payson. There was a huge cheer from the crowd. Winston smiled broadly.
Payson later took Winston into the audience for people to pet him.
“He walked over to people and they felt like they were touching a movie star. We had never seen anything like it. It was an explosion of applause,” said Wayne Ferguson, President of the Philadelphia Kennel Club.
“He is a show dog with personality and beauty and is a perfect match for the breed,” Vicki Seiler-Cushman, judge Best in Show, said in a statement. “He has a racy glow that says, ‘I’m here to win tonight.'”
According to the American Kennel Club, French bulldogs are the second most popular breed in the US, beaten only by Labrador retrievers. Golden retrievers are the third most popular.
Winston has multiple owners, including NFL player Morgan Fox, a defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers. He helped raise Winston as a puppy. One of the show’s announcers quipped that the small but muscular Winston “runs like a little linebacker.”
Winston – whose registered show name is I Won The War at Goldshield by GCHP Fox Canyon – has amassed a number of titles over the years. This win marks his 78th Best in Show title and makes Winston the No. 1 dog of all breeds in the United States
This year, the American Kennel Club approved three new breeds to compete in the National Dog Show: the Bracco Italiano, the Russian Toy, and the Mudi.
Winston had already won in his non-sporting group before going into the finals. There he beat an American Staffordshire Terrier named Trouble from the Terrier group, Reus the Alaskan Malamute from the Working Group, Nate the Treeing Walker Coonhound from the Hound Group, Sloane the Irish Water Spaniel from the Sporting Group, River the German Shepherd from the Herding Group and Cooper, the english toy spaniel, from the toy group.
Cooper won second prize, known as Reserve Best in Show.
After the excitement of today’s event had died down, Winston was seen enjoying some celebratory treats served on a silver platter.
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