A Pekingese, named Palacegarden Malachy, won Best in Show at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Malachy, a representative of the Toy Group, was the first Pekingese to win the tremendous honor since 1990. The four-year-old Pekingese won its group last year, but it wasn't until 2012 that it earned Westminster's top honor.
It's such a thrill, David Fitzpatrick, Malachy's owner and handler, said after the show. I'm so proud to have a dog of this quality. It's the thrill of the lifetime.
Malachy came into Westminster as the second ranked dog in the country -- behind only a black cocker spaniel named Beckham that was upset in its breeding competition -- and is set to retire on top as the Best in Show. It was picked as the favorite to win Westminster by Vegas oddsmakers and was the clear favorite amongst journalists and dog experts at the Garden.
The Pekingese was tabbed as the best of Westminster by judge Cindy Vogels. Vogels selected the pekingese over: a wirehaired dachshund (Hound Group); a Dalmatian (Non-sporting Group); a German Shepherd (Herding Group); an Irish Setter (Sporting Group); a Doberman (Working Group); and a Kerry Blue Terrier (Terrier Group).
The owners of the winning Pekingese win a silver bowel and ribbon, but do not receive a cash prize for the Best in Show victory.