SAN DIEGO, Feb 12, 2013 – Among a mix of favorites and underdogs, the Best in Show winner was a veteran with a twinkle in his eye and pep in his step who won in his third trip to New York and Madison Square Garden.
The Toy Group claimed its second Best in Show in a row with the victory of Affenpinshcer Grand Champion Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, known as Banana Joe or merely Joe.
In his previous two appearances, Banana Joe had won his breed and come in second in the Toy Group, last year losing to the eventual Best in Show Winner for 2012, Malachy the Pekingese. Now Malachy will hand over the title to his successor, a fellow Toy.
As Best in Show judge Michael Dougherty approached Joe and his handler Ernesto Lara, Lara smiled at Joe and said a reassuring word to him. The crowd cheered them on.
When Doughterty announced his decision, handler Ernesto Lara lifted the champion into the air above his head to the delight of the crowd.
The five-year-old wagged his tail and stuck out his bright pink tongue after earning his 86th Best in Show title overall. “He’s won a lot of big shows, but not like this one,” handler Lara said.
“He was presented in immaculate manner,” Dougherty praised. “He was on the minute he walked in. He’s in perfect condition, perfect body,” he added.
Banana Joe is smart as well as handsome, according to co-owner and breeder Kieke Cooijmans. Living in the Netherlands, “he speaks German, Dutch, Spanish and English,” Cooijmans said.
An old English sheepdog only 20 months old was picked as the runner-up on the green carpet of the Garden. Swagger the sheepdog drew the most cheers, but judge Michael Dougherty picked Banana Joe.
The Best In Show win by Affenpinscher Banana Joe is the first at Westminster since the breed’s recognition in 1938.
The full house at Madison Square Garden had its favorites, first among them the surprise Herding Group winner, Old English Sheepdog Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect, or Swagger. The class winner was named the Reserve Winner, second place. This is an outstanding result for the young 20-month dog and dog show fans are sure to see Swagger return to Westminster as an official Champion next year.
Hound Group winner Jewel, American Foxhound GCH CH Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box, and Nonsporting Group winner Honor, Bishon Frise, were joined in the ring by three more Group winners chosen today.
The nation’s number one dog for 2012, Oakley the German Wirehaired Pointer, GCH Mt View’s Ripsnortersilvercharm, was named winner of the Sporting Group.
Two surprise choices advanced to Best in Show. Portuguese Water Dog, GCH Claircreek Impression De Matisse defeated the favored Doberman pinscher FIfi, the Boxer Macy, and the Kuvasz Tanner. The familiar and distinctive black and white face of Smooth Fox Terrier Adam, GCH Slyfox Sneak’s A Peek, won in the Terrier Group over the dog many observers considered the favorite, Wire Fox Terrier Sky, GCH Afterall Painting The Sky.
There were 2,721 entries in 187 breeds and varieties at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, including a pair of newcomers, the Treeing Walker Coonhound and the Russell Terrier.
Banana Joe will now embark on a whirlwind media tour, ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with a little help from handler Lara enjoy the traditional lunch at iconic New York restaurant Sardi’s, and will enjoy a year’s reign as America’s Top Dog for 2013.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.
Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.