Wed, Feb 13, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Bourbon tops Whiskey in Westminster whippet upset


Whiskey, a whippet, competes in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show hound group at Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday.

Photo: AP

In a Westminster Kennel Club surprise, a big-winning whippet was bounced from the US’ top pooch pageant Monday by his own sister.

Whiskey had won the prized National Dog Show televised at the end of November and the prominent American Kennel Club event shown on New Year ’s Day, but his bid for a Triple Crown of dogdom ended when he was topped by littermate Bourbon in the breed judging.

“She’s the new kid on the block,” handler Cheslie Pickett Smithey said.

Bourbon on Monday advanced to the hound group competition at Madison Square Garden. Biggie the pug — the toy, herding and nonsporting champ who had fans chanting his name at the Garden last year — advanced to the evening session.

More than 2,800 dogs in 203 breeds and varieties were entered. The best in show was to be picked yesterday.

For Pickett Smithey, the win was a bit bittersweet. She teared up talking about the result, because she and her husband, Justin Smithey of Sugar Valley, Georgia, co-own both dogs. He guided Whiskey in the ring.

“I just hate beating Whiskey,” she said.

Last year, Whiskey won the breed at Westminster, and Bourbon was awarded best of opposite sex. This time, the three-year-olds switched places.

“We’re as proud as we can get,” he said.

Whiskey was not sour after the upset. The littermates nuzzled outside the ring when it was over.

They are “best buds,” Pickett Smithey said.

Whippets are similar to greyhounds, only smaller. They are known for their running speed, but Bourbon was under control. She was more mesmerized by the meat treats that Pickett Smithey fastened to her arm with a rubberband.

At one point, she sensed that Bourbon needed a little extra.

“Go get me the fish,” she told an assistant from inside the ring.

This year’s Westminster features two new breeds, the grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje.

There were 57 golden retrievers entered, but just one sloughi — who was a no-show.

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