Buckle up! First Bloodhound Trumpet to win Westminster show


“Sometimes I think the Bloodhound is an underdog.”

Trumpet, a Bloodhound, competes for best in show at the 146th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Wednesday, June 22 in Tarrytown, NY Trumpet wins the title. Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

TARRYTOWN, NY (AP) — Now this hound has something to bite his horn with.

A Bloodhound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Wednesday night, marking the first time the breed has snagged US dogdom’s most coveted Best in Show award.

Rounding the finalists’ ring with a mighty and powerful stride, Trumpet beat a French Bulldog, a German Shepherd, a Maltese, an English Setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland Terrier to take the trophy.

“I was shocked,” said Handler, co-breeder and co-owner Heather Helmer, who also goes by Heather Buener. The competition was tight, “and sometimes I think the Bloodhound is an underdog.”

After making dog show history, does Trump realize just how special he is?

“I think he does,” said his Berlin Center, Ohio-based handler.

After his victory, Trumpet patiently posed for countless photographs, eventually starting to do what Bloodhounds do best – sniffing around. He examined some of the ornamental flowers that had been set up for pictures, not seeing anything noticeable.

Winston, a French bulldog co-owned by NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox, took second place at the nation’s most prestigious dog show.

“I’m so proud of him and the whole team,” Fox said later by text.

Fox, who had just been signed by the Los Angeles Chargers and has played for the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers, got Winston from his grandmother, Sandy Fox. She has raised and shown Frenchies over the years.

Morgan Fox grew up with one and says that as soon as he saw Winston mature, he knew the dog was a winner in both appearance and character. He went to Westminster as the country’s top-ranked dog.

“He’s a pleasure to be around,” Fox said over the phone ahead of Winston’s award. “He always walks around with as much smile on his face as a dog can have.”

The seven finalists included Stryker, a Samoyed who also made it to the final last year; River, a great conqueror German shepherd; Lakeland Terrier MM; Belle the English setter, and a Maltese who was clearly aiming for stardom: her name is Hollywood.

After topping the canine rankings last year, Stryker has been hitting up some dog shows lately to “keep his head in the game,” said handler Laura King.

What shines in the Snow-White Samoyed competition? “His heart,” said the King of Milan, Illinois.

“His charisma shows when he’s showing,” and he complains vociferously when he’s not, she said.

While he was quiet in the ring, an Alaskan Malamute provided a shout – Cheer? – Soundtrack for the semi-final round featuring Samoyeds and other breeds classified as working dogs.

The competition attracted over 3,000 purebred dogs, ranging from Affenpinsers to Yorkshire Terriers. The goal is to crown the dog that represents the ideal for its breed.

Usually held in the winter at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the show moved to the suburban Lyndhurst estate last year and this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, faced dozens of competitors to win their breed and advance to the semi-finals. Others were among the few representatives of rare breeds.

Oma was the only Chinook that showed up. Sled-pullers are the official dog of the state of New Hampshire, but they are rare across the country.

“I’d love to see some more” at the Westminster ring, said Patti Richards, the breeder, owner and handler of Ooma, of West Haven, Vermont. “Without people who will show up and breed, we are in danger of losing our breed.”

Even for the hopefuls who didn’t come with the ribbon, the event was an opportunity to show the dogs and everything they could do.

Bonnie the Britney is owner-handler Dr. Jessica Silva’s first show dog, and her teamwork extends beyond the ring.

Bonnie goes to work with Sielva at her chiropractic practice in Syracuse, New York, where “she has really helped people with their emotional stress,” Sielava said.

She also plans to get her show dog certified as a therapy dog.

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