The 2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was one for the books!
Hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club, the beloved spectacle brought together thousands of distinguished dogs, which were separated into seven categories for judging and compete for the highly coveted title of Best in Show.
Tuesday’s competition shifted to judging for the Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, with the top dog in each respective group being selected to advance and complete the field for the evening’s Best in Show judging. Monday’s competition focused on the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups, with the first four finalists being selected then.
There were 2,500 dogs from 210 different breeds hailing from 49 states and 13 countries competing this year.
Westminster, also known as “America’s Dog Show,” is the second-longest running sporting event in American history behind the Kentucky Derby, and this year’s event, which returns for the 147th time, spanned across four days.
FOX Sports’ Jenny Taft and Jamie Little were onsite in Queens, New York at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which hosted the event for the first time, to take you behind the scenes amidst all the action.
Here are the top moments from Group Judging!
Sporting Group (Winner: English Setter)
Sporting dogs, which are naturally active and alert and make well-rounded companions, were up first Tuesday. There are four basic types — spaniels, pointers, retrievers and setters, all of which are known for their superior instincts.
The competition was fierce, but it was Cider the English Setter who secured Tuesday’s first group win, beating out 34 other breeds for the top honor. The Sporting Group was tied with the Hound Group for having the largest field this year.
The Irish Water Spaniel was the runner-up in this group, followed by the Pointer in third and the Brittany in fourth.
The Westminster Kennel Club welcomed the Bracco Italiano — an ancient pointing breed native to northern Italy that has recently become AKC-recognized, making it eligible to compete at Westminster — to this year’s show. History was made Tuesday when the Best of Breed winner appeared on the green carpet in the Sporting Group competition.
Working Group (Winner: Giant Schnauzer)
Working dogs, which are quick learners and were originally bred to assist humans, were the second group to show.
After another round of tough competition that was made up of 31 breeds, Monty the Giant Schnauzer won the second group title of the evening. It proved to be a family, as Monty’s father won Best in Show reserve (or runner-up) in 2018.
The Great Pyrenees was the runner-up, followed by the Rottweiler in third and the Doberman Pinscher in fourth.
Terrier Group (Winner: American Staffordshire Terrier)
Terriers were the last to show Tuesday, and these feisty and energetic dogs certainly didn’t disappoint! After an incredibly tough round of competition, history was made when Trouble the American Staffordshire Terrier secured the group win.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier came in second place, followed by the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Scottish Terrier in third and fourth, respectively.
Hound Group (Winner: Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen)
Hounds, which share the common ancestral trait of being used for hunting, were up first at Westminster. The competition was stiff, but it was Buddy Holly the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or PBGV, who secured the first group win of the night.
The Afghan Hound was the runner-up in this group, followed by the Borzoi in third and the English Foxhound in fourth.
Toy Group (Winner: Pekingese)
Toy dogs, which are affectionate, sociable and adaptable to a wide range of lifestyles, were up next at Westminster.
After another round of tough competition, Rummie the Pekingese won the second group title of the evening. It was another huge victory for the unmistakable toy breed, as a fellow Pekingese named Wasabi won Best in Show in 2021.
The Shih Tzu was the runner-up in this group, followed by the English Toy Spaniel in third and the Japanese Chin in fourth.
Non-Sporting Group (Winner: French Bulldog)
Non-sporting dogs, a diverse group of breeds with varying sizes, coats, personalities and overall appearance, were third to show Monday.
Fan-favorite Winston the French Bulldog, the Reserve Best in Show at Westminster in 2022, swept the group once again this year.
The Standard Poodle came in second place, followed by the Bulldog and the Bichon Frisé in third and fourth, respectively.
Herding Group (Winner: Australian Shepherd)
Herding dogs — which are incredibly intelligent and share an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals, as they were developed to gather, herd and protect livestock — were last to be judged Monday.
Ribbon the Australian Shepherd came out on top, beating out 32 other breeds for the top honor. The Bouviers des Flandres was the runner-up in this group, followed by the Shetland Sheepdog in third and the German Shepherd in fourth.
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