Wasabi the Pekingese wins Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show

TARRYTOWN, NY. – A Pekingese named Wasabi won Best in Show at the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Sunday.

The reserve slot, or runner-up, was given to Bourbon the whippet.

Wasabi the Pekingese won Best in Show at the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Photo courtesy CNN

The Westminster Dog Show is the second-oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, after the Kentucky Derby. It has run through world wars, previous pandemics, and economic depressions. Last year, amid the pandemic, the event was moved to June.

The competition was held at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. It was the first time the competition has taken place outside of New York’s Madison Square Garden, where it has been held every year since 1877. It was relocated this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wasabi’s breeder, David Fitzpatrick, told Fox’s Sara Walsh he and the 3-year-old Pekingese will be celebrating”He can have a filet mignon and I’ll have champagne,” Fitzpatrick said.

David Fitzpatrick and Wasabi

Fitzpatrick, whose other dog , Malachy, won Best in Show in 2012,  attributed Wasabi’s win to his individuality.

“He’s just a wonderful dog and he’s made correctly. He has showmanship,” Fitzpatrick said. “He fits the breed standard. He has that little extra something, that little sparkle that sets a dog apart.”

When asked how much he’ll be carrying around Wasabi after Sunday’s win, Fitzpatrick replied, “As much as he needs. He deserves his own chariot.”

The winners for each group on Sunday were:

  • Hound Group — Bourbon the whippet, who won the reserve slot, or runner-up
  • Toy Group — Wasabi the Pekingese, who won Best in Show
  • Non-Sporting Group — Mathew the French bulldog
  • Herding Group — Connor the Old English sheepdog
  • Sporting Group — Jade the German shorthaired pointer, whose mother, CJ, was crowned Best in Show in 2016
  • Working Group — Striker the Samoyed
  • Terrier Group — Boy the West Highland white terrier

Judge Patricia Craige Trotter – a veteran judge, trainer, and handler – announced the winner just before 11 p.m. ET Sunday.

Judge Patricia Craige Trotter

“Without a doubt, the entire sport of dogs is grateful to the Westminster Kennel Club members and their staff for persevering through troubled times to bring us out to this gorgeous estate and create this show for the ages. We thank them all for all they’ve done,” Trotter said.

Trotter thanked the dogs, trainers, breeders, and organizers for bringing the show to fruition amid trying times.

Information, www.cnn.com