This post has been updated.
NEW YORK — A bichon frise named Flynn won the highest award, Best in Show, at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City late Tuesday. The breed last claimed top honors at Westminster 17 years ago.
The Reserve Best in Show title went to Ty, a giant schnauzer, who literally danced as his name was called before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden.
During the past two days, those two and five other dogs who also won their respective groups triumphed over more than 2,800 other competitors in the nation’s most elite dog show. Several of the champions may have appeared for the last time.
That includes Flynn, a puffball of a pooch with the registered name of “Belle Creek’s All I Care About Is Love.” Just minutes after he was selected, handler Bill McFadden told a TV interviewer, “I think I’ll have to ask the owners, but I’m pretty sure I can drop the mic and say he’s retired.”
It was the second Best in Show for McFadden, a longtime dog handler who won Westminster in 2003 with a Kerry blue terrier. Mick was “high and excited,” McFadden told reporters, while Flynn “is just pure joy.”
Preparing Flynn’s coif for the big show Tuesday night required a fresh bath and two hours of “scissoring,” McFadden said. “But it kind of calmed him down and calmed me down … he likes getting groomed.”
The look apparently worked for judge Betty-Anne Stenmark, who praised the 5-year-old’s head, expression, eyes and constantly wagging tail. “When I put my hands on that little dog,” she said, “he sold himself to me.”
Here are the seven group winners who competed for Best in Show:
Toy group: Biggie the pug
Working group: Ty the giant schnauzer
Sporting group: Bean the Sussex spaniel
Herding group: Slick the border collie
Hound group: Lucy the borzoi
Nonsporting group: Flynn the bichon frise
Terrier group: Winston the Norfolk terrier