Sadie the Scottish Terrier Wins Best in Show at 134th Westminster Dog Show
David Goldman, AP
She did it! Sadie, the Scottish Terrier and the number one dog in the country secured her spot in history by winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday evening in New York City. Four-and-a-half-year-old Sadie proved Las Vegas oddsmakers right when they predicted that the small dog with the glossy black coat would capture the coveted title.
After winning best of breed earlier in the day, Sadie advanced to the terrier group, which she also won. As the evening progressed to the final round, the seven dogs representing winners of the terrier, herding, sporting, non-sporting, toy, hound and working groups strode into the ring to vie for the best in show title. The sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden responded with huge cheers and applause for each of the champion dogs representing the best of their breeds and groups.
Best in show judge Elliot Weiss, dressed in a natty tuxedo, inspected the seven dogs and requested that each take a run around the ring. Huge cheers erupted from the crowd for Sadie, but roars of approval also went out to a brown Doberman pincsher and a brindle-colored French bulldog.
As Weiss took one last long look at each dog, the crowd cheered and began clapping in unison, the sound reminiscent of a drumroll. In the end, Weiss pointed to Sadie as her handler, Gabriel Rangel, tossed his head backward, looked heavenward and clasped his hand to his chest.
The celebratory mood at Westminster, considered the nation's most prestigious show featuring 2,500 dogs, was briefly interrupted when, right before Sadie was to take the title, two protesters stormed Madison Square Garden's center ring holding up signs that read "Mutts Rule" and "Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs' Chances." The "Breeders Kill" slogan was the theme of a PETA ad campaign. The two women were quickly escorted off the premises, and the incident did not appear during the USA Network telecast.
Sadie, whose full name is Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, has earned 112 best in show ribbons. In addition to her victory at Westminster Tuesday night, Sadie also won the National Dog Show in November and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December. Her win at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship makes Sadie automatically eligible to compete at Crufts in England, the largest dog show in the world. However, Rangel was coy when asked whether Sadie would now retire from dog shows. (A best in show title at Crufts would make Sadie only the second champion dog in history to earn the Triple Crown of the dog show world.)
As photographers rushed to capture her winning moment at Westminster and the other dog handlers crowded around to congratulate Rangel, the feisty Sadie jumped up and down on Rangel's legs, seeking either treats or hugs.
"It's very rare to find a short-legged dog that's balanced as she is," explained Weiss in a press conference after the show. "And her breed characteristic is fabulous, as you saw tonight. She thinks highly of herself and that's evident."
"She was perfect tonight," Rangel told reporters. "I couldn't ask for anything more."