Westminster Dog Show 2024: Sage the Miniature Poodle Wins Best in Show

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The 148th annual Westminster Kennel Dog Show held this past May was a cute fest! Prancing doggos showcased their fluffiest tricks, and sturdiest skills in an action-filled, aww-packed, roller-coaster ride of a sporting event.

A Competition of Breed Excellence

The unlikely sporting event occurred in the USTA Billie Jean King Stadium National Tennis Center in Queens, NY. Over 2,500 dogs, alongside their handlers, competed for first place within their respective breeds. A group judge evaluated each furry athlete based on desirable standardized breed characteristics set by national breed clubs. 

The show continuously attracts dog lovers and breed enthusiasts, including Martha Stewart; The iconic businesswoman is a Westminster Dog Show superfan. She loves animals and is the tutor of two Chow-Chows and three French Bulldogs!

The gold medal is awarded based on seven categories: herding, hound, sporting, non-sporting, terrier, toy, and working group. Once the judges had picked a winner for each category, the finalists moved on to dispute the title of Best in Show. 

Top Winners of Westminster Kennel Dog Show 2024

  • Herding Group: Mercedes (German Shepherd)
  • Hound Group: Louis (Afghan Hound)
  • Non-Sporting Group: Sage (Miniature Poodle)
  • Sporting Group: Micha (Black Cocker Spaniel)
  • Terrier Group: Frankie (Colored Bull Terrier)
  • Toy Group: Comet (Shih Tzu)
  • Working Group: Monty (Giant Schnauzer)

Herding Group Winner: Mercedes (German Shepherd) 

German Shepherds are long-time winners in the herding group. This year was no exception, with the Top Herding Dog title awarded to Mercedes, an adorable four-year-old female from Bethesda, Maryland. This confident German Shepherd has winner genes, being the cousin of “Rumor”, who won the Best in Show title in 2017. We’re certain their coach, Kent Boyle, is over the moon about this win!

Hound Group Winner: Louis (Afghan Hound)

“You ain’t nothing but a hound dog” received a whole new meaning with the stellar performance of “Louis,” the beautiful Afghan Hound from Roseville, California. The fabulous Afghan Hound breed dates back to around 4,000 BC when they served as hunting dogs in snowy mountains. 

Today, they’re known for their silky, flowing hair and nonchalant expression. Louis took the competition by storm with his soft black coat and exquisite coat color details. 

Sporting Group Winner: Micha (Black Cocker Spaniel)

In the Sporting Group  a Labrador Retriever called “Cutter” won third place. Second place went to“Accelerate,” a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. “Micha,” a beautiful black Cocker Spaniel who hopped onto the first-place podium with zest.

Non-Sporting Group Winner: Sage (Miniature Poodle) 

The Non-Sporting group was an oodles of poodles! An enchanting miniature Poodle named “Sage” took home the gold medal for poodle excellence. Her coiffed haircut included sculpted bracelets that made her soft black cotton coat shine like a fluffy black stallion. 

Terrier Group Winner: Frankie (Colored Bull Terrier) 

A Colored Bull Terrier named “Frankie” briskly hopped onto first place in the Terrier group. Terriers have frequently been a favorite among judges, having previously achieved 47 Best in Show titles for their breed. Will 2024 award them with title number 48? 

Toy Group Winner: Comet (Shih Tzu) 

“Comet,” a three-and-a-half-year-old Shih-tzu from Ohio, won the Toy Group. His gold, white, and silver coat made him stand out from 24 other dogs in that category.

Working Group: Monty (Giant Schnauzer) 

A giant Schnauzer appropriately named “Monty” took home the gold medal for the Working Group for the second year in a row. A Schnauzer has never won Best in Show, making many wonder if Monty would make history in 2024!

The Best in Show goes to….

Drum roll please! All eyes were on the announcer, and a pin drop could be heard as the Best in Show winner of the 2024 Westminster Kennel Dog Show was announced. The award was bestowed to Sage, the miniature poodle, a three-year-old native of Houston, Texas, handled by Kaz Hozaka. After this prestigious win, Kaz Hozaka will say farewell to tournament lanes. 

Sage charmed judge Rosalind Kramer of High Point, North Carolina, who selected her for the Grand Prix. The runner-up slot for greatest dog in America went to Mercedes, the German Shepherd from Bethesda, Maryland (good girl!).

How to Watch the Westminster Kennel Dog Show

The 2024 Westminster Kennel Dog Show was a fun and adorable event that Fox Sports streamed and made available through FS1 live and the Fox Sports App.

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