The odds were with Dandie Dinmont Harry, but James is truly the top dog. For the fifth time in 100 years, an English Springer Spaniel won “Best in Show” beating out a number of beautiful dogs. While Harry stole the hearts of fans on Monday, it was the Pettit Basset Griffon Verdeen (PBGV) named Fairchild who seemed to have the support of the crowd Tuesday night. Fairchild received a lot of vocal support from the crowd, but judge Dr. Robert Indeglia, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Rhode Island, ignored their cheers and went with James. Indeglia explained to the NY Times how he selected James, ranked second in the country, "I had a lot of great dogs to choose from. But this one stood out. He had that look in his eye that said, ‘It’s my night.’ He had great temperament. It was an honor to judge him.”
The drama wasn’t only with the dogs. Because of an upset in the herding group, Larry Fenner who handled the winning Bouvier Indy faced off against his wife, Laurie, who handled the Akita named Macey. Besides being an expert handler, Larry showed that he was a smart husband. “I’m rooting for her, it’s the start of the Akita’s career but the end of Indy’s.”
But, in the end it was James’ day and when the announcement was made he jumped up onto his handler, Kelly Fitzgerald, perhaps in search of another treat.
What did you think of the show and the winner? And coifmo66 has a great Flickr set of photographs from behind the scenes at Westminster.
Photograph of James, aka Ch Felicity's Diamond Jim, and handler Kelly Fitzgerald by Seth Wenig/AP