GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky
(Photo by Infocusbymiguel)
It was one of the most impressive Westminster Kennel Club Best In Show lineups ever. The seven finalists had collected hundreds of BIS among them. The Portuguese Water Dog, GCH CH Claircreek’s Impression de Matisse, the Wire Fox Terrier, GCH AfterAll Painting the Sky, the Miniature Pinscher, GCH CH Marlex Classic Red Glare, and the Standard Poodle, GCH CH Brighton Lakeridge Encore, all have won more than 100 career BIS. The Irish Water Spaniel, GCH CH Whistlestop’s Riley on Fire is the winningest dog in the history of the breed, as are the Portie and the MinPin. Nonetheless, the remaining two dogs the Bloodhound, GCH CH Flessner's International S'Cess, and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, GCH CH Riverside Telltail Coco Posh, were the clear crowd favorites.
GCH CH Brighton Lakeridge Encore
Judge Betty Regina Leninger set the tone for the evening, draped in a royal purple gown, beautifully coiffed, and handsomely bejeweled. All of the dogs and handlers knew they would have to be especially impressive and they did not disappoint. First up was the IWS, Riley, who moved around the giant ring demonstrating the joie de vivre that the breed is known for. The Portie, Matisse, did some athletic stretching before strutting his stuff for judge Leninger after which the Bloodhound, Nathan, moved around the ring with determination. The Standard Poodle, Ally, floated around the ring as only a big Poodle can, followed by the Wire Fox, Sky, who jauntily made her way around the arena. The Cardigan, Coco, was a clear crowd favorite, as she demonstrated that short legs could cover ground readily. Last to move was the MinPin, Classie, charming as always.
In the end, there are the winner and a reserve. Reserve went to the Standard Poodle, Ally, who will be retired after tonight’s win. It was Ally’s third trip to Westminster, and the second for her handler Tim Brazier, who missed the first trip because of emergency by-pass surgery. It was great to see him and Ally in top condition this year. Our congratulations to Tim, breeders L'Dyne Wicker Brennan & Debra Ferguson Jones, and owners Toni Sosnoff & Martin Sosnoff.
Best went to the Wire Fox, Sky. Sky and superstar handler Gabriel Rangel have won every major title available over the last two years including Palm Springs, Louisville, and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Tonight’s win was the second Westminster Best In Show for Gabriel, who also won in 2010 with the Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot. It was the 128th career BIS for Sky, who has only been at this for two short years. Few dogs can boast such a dazzling career in such a short time. We are indebted to breeders A J Pertuit Jr & Betty Seton, owners Victor Malzoni Jr, Torie Steele, Mary & Scott Olund, & Diane Ryan, and handler Gabriel Rangel & his team for sharing this beautiful dog with all of us. Congratulations to them all.