TERRITOWN, NY – Will the hound be trumpeting about victory, or will her tiny cousin play with victory? What about the French Bulldog with the owner in the NFL? Did the German Shepherd get a chance to win the grand prize?
The Bloodhound Trumpet, the Maltese Hollywood fighter, the French Bulldog Winston and the German Shepherd River were selected on Tuesday to advance to the final round of the Westminster Dog Breeding Club dog show. Three more finalists will be selected on Wednesday night when all seven meet for the coveted best in the show prize.
One of Winston’s owners is line defenseman Morgan Fox, who was signed last month by the Los Angeles Chargers after six seasons at the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
“If that’s how my parents felt looking at my games all these years, I apologize,” Fox tweeted after Winston’s victory.
Athletes have found their way to Westminster in the past.
The great New York Yankees Lou Gehrig brought his German Shepherd to a competition in the 1930s, and Hall of Fame member Mike Musin had an Irish Setter at the competition. Premier League striker Ryan Hannigan owned an Australian Shepherd who won the breed during his playing days, and former Florida midfielder Keith Carter showed off a rottweiler.
Trumpet, a seeker from the legendary bloodline, loves the crowd and the energy of the big show, its executives say. River went to the ring, but cameraman Lenny Brown said they were taking the competition “step by step”.
And Hollywood has stellar qualities.
“She loves being in the ring. And she also loves being out of the ring, ”cameraman Tim Lehmann told the crowd in an interview in the ring.
Among Hollywood’s half-liter-sized opponents in the toy group was Porsche, the first in the history of the semifinalist of his breed, a Russian toy. This year he just became a contender for the show in Westminster. Tuesday night Porsche was not quite a year and a half old.
“A small dog, but a big person,” said owner and handler Jolanta Terrell of North Palm Beach, Florida, before the competition.
Also new was Moody, the Hungarian Shepherd Dog. Moody nicknamed Guava received the first Westminster award in the breed.
At the other end of the spectrum the winner of the American Staffordshire Terrier Louis reaches the semifinals on Wednesday to try to achieve his last best in the show.
After winning the top prize on dozens of other shows, 8 1/2-year-old Louis retires after Westminster, where he made it to the semi-finals several times.
Whatever happened on Wednesday night, all he had to do was look at his competitors to see his legacy. His two daughters and one of his sons won the ribbons along with him at the breed competitions on Tuesday.
And for owner Kim Rudick of Westfield, Massachusetts, Louis has a bigger title than the best in the show.
“The coolest dog,” she said.