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King the wire fox terrier takes Westminster’s best in show

There was a bit of dog show drama, too, as Colton the schipperke was ruled ineligible after winning the non-sporting group.
Gabriel Rangel poses for photographs with King, a wire fox terrier, after King won Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. [Associated Press]
Published Feb. 13

NEW YORK — Wire fox terriers are still King at Westminster.

A wire fox from Brazil who's won big in Europe became America's top dog Tuesday night, beating out a crowd-pleasing longhaired dachshund and popular Sussex spaniel.

There were some boos — along with modest cheers — at Madison Square Garden when judge Peter Green pointed at the 7-year-old King.

"It doesn't get any better than that," handler Gabriel Rangel said.

The win was hardly a surprise.

King, a wire fox terrier, poses for photographs after winning Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. [Associated Press]

Wire fox terriers have won 15 times at the nation's most prestigious dog show, far more than any other breed (Scottish terriers are second, with eight).

A Neapolitan mastiff competes with the working group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. [Associated Press]

Green is a renowned figure in the dog world, especially for his work with terriers. He's previously picked King as the champ at other shows.

Wired to win, this dog was.

"I look at King, he's like a beautiful painting, a piece of art," Rangel praised earlier in the day. "The way he stands and performs, he's the whole package."

A Havanese named Bono came in second among the more than 2,800 dogs who entered here.

Bono, a Havanese, competes in Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. King, a wire fox terrier, won Best in Show. Bono came in second. [Associated Press]

Also in the final ring were Bean the Sussex spaniel, Burns the longhaired dachshund, Wilma the boxer and Baby Lars the bouviers des Flandres.

The fan favorites at the Garden were clearly Bean and Burns.

Bean, a Sussex Spaniel, competes with the sporting group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. Bean won the sporting group. [Associated Press]

Chants of “Bean! Bean! Bean!” bounced around the packed arena as the Sussex spaniel rounded the ring. And Burns drew loud cheers as his long hair flowed while circling the green carpet.

There was a bit of dog show drama, too, at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club.

A day after earning a coveted spot in the final ring of seven, spirited Colton the schipperke was ruled ineligible for best in show.

Colton, a schipperke, walks to parade in the ring at the start of Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. King, a wire fox terrier, won Best in Show. A day after earning a coveted spot in the final ring of seven, Colton was ruled ineligible for best in show. There was a conflict of interest — judge Peter Green's longtime partner has co-owned dogs with one of Colton's co-owners. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused. [Associated Press]

There was a conflict of interest — Green’s longtime partner has co-owned dogs with one of Colton’s co-owners. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused.

"This doesn't negate all he's done here," handler Christa Cook said as she brushed Colton's colt backstage at the Garden. "It's been a great experience, his accomplishment is in the book forever."

A toy poodle is groomed ahead of the Best of Breed event at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in New York. [Associated Press]

Wagging his tail, the tri-colored King was completely in control under Rangel, who won for the third time at Westminster.

Rangel teared up in the middle of the ring after the win, overwhelmed by the moment and the recognition from Green.

"Special win because of that judge," Rangel said.

Neither he nor King will have much time to rest.

Colton,a schipperke, arrives for Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. King, a wire fox terrier, won Best in Show. A day after earning a coveted spot in the final ring of seven, Colton was ruled ineligible for best in show. There was a conflict of interest — judge Peter Green's longtime partner has co-owned dogs with one of Colton's co-owners. Colton was allowed to run around the ring, then was excused. [Associated Press]

Wednesday's victory lap includes visits to morning television shows, a steak lunch at midtown eatery Sardi's, a trip up the Empire State Building and a walk-on part in the Broadway musical "Pretty Woman."

Owner Victor Malzoni Jr. of Brazil gets no prize money for this win. Besides a shiny silver bowl, the reward comes in lucrative breeding rights and a lifetime of bragging rights.

This was the 47th overall best in show win for the wire fox with a full name of Kingarthur Van Foliny Home. He's also done well at the largest dog show in the world, Crufts in England.

Michael Sheppard, left, handles Wilma, a boxer, in the working group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. Wilma won the working group. [Associated Press]

Packed with personality, Burns had all the qualities of a Westminster champion.

He had a great coat. He had a wonderful gait. He had a playful spirit.

But did he have the right combination to become the big winner here? His body of work said yes. History said no.

Bruno, a West Highland White Terrier, competes with the terrier group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. [Associated Press]

"Best in show breeds need the flash to compete," handler Carlos Puig said in the afternoon.

Despite always being among the nation's most popular dogs, a dachshund has never won best in show at Westminster. Neither has a Havanese, schipperke or bouviers des Flandres.

Rangel twice previously guided terriers to best in show at Westminster — Sadie the Scottie in 2010 and Sky the wire fox in 2014.

That's a lot better showing than popular golden retrievers and Labs. They've never taken the top title at Westminster.

“I love goldens. They’re so sweet, you just want to hold them,” he said. “But they don’t have that sharp expression.”

A Komondor competes with the working group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A dogue de Bordeaux competes with the working group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A toy poodle is groomed ahead of the Best of Breed event at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in New York. [Associated Press]

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