Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sadie a Black Haired Scottish Terrier is Top Dog

The four-year-old with the breed's trademark beard and antenna-like tail was the bookies' heavy favorite in New York after having already amassed 111 other competition titles.On Tuesday, she beat six hungry rivals in the last round: a Doberman Pinscher, a Brittany Spaniel, a Toy Poodle, a Puli, a Whippet and a French Bulldog.Sadie reacted to the cheers from a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden arena by standing on her hind legs and reaching out not for the trophy, but a biscuit from handler Gabriel Rangel."I was truly enjoying the moment. She showed flawlessly," Rangel said.The smooth ending to Sadie's quest came despite a brief protest staged by animal rights campaigners who ran into the ring.

Campaigners, notably from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have long criticized the highly competitive dog show world in which perfection is pursued relentlessly.

The big win was also a far cry from the damp ending to Sadie's run last year, when she made an unscheduled pee stop on the green carpet while showing in the finale.

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the canine world's cross between the Oscars, Olympics and Fashion Week, featured some 2,500 pooches of every size, shape and hair type competing to be declared America's best friend.

Although Sadie had been widely expected to triumph, the tense last stages of the competition are often unpredictable.

Handlers run around a pen in the arena center while the judge scrutinizes the dog's movement and grooming.

Last year, an elderly Sussex Spaniel named Stump was the surprise winner, his case possibly aided by Sadie's bathroom accident.The Westminster Kennel Club show is considered by many to be the most prestigious of all dog beauty contests.

The show, in its 134th year, was broadcast live on USA Network television and has a worldwide following.

This year, the Best in Show contest featured pooches to satisfy most tastes.

The lean red Doberman Blazing Star leant a touch of menace to the pampered canine crowd. Although most associated with police dogs, Dobermans are no stranger to the Westminster championship and Blazing Star has an especially star-studded pedigree.

The Toy Poodle named Moon Walk looked like an escaped candy floss stick as she pranced around the pen, her behind and face shaved clean and her head a mass of puffy white hair.

Bearing the standard for Pulis, which have never won a Best in Show, was Field of Dreams whose long black hair resembled dreadlocks.

The French Bulldog vying to be the first French breed to triumph in New York was the most unassuming of the pack, a humble, rather porky creature who trundled around the pen without complaint and blinked in the strong spotlights.

Sadie, a black-haired Scottish Terrier, has completed her inexorable rise to top-dog by winning the Westminster Kennel Club's Best in Show prize.

Judge Elliott Weiss needed only seconds after asking handlers to take one final trot around before he made his decision.

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