Pekingese, a runner-up from 2011, wins Westminster
Malachy the Pekingese, a breed once favored by Chinese royalty, is top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
February 15th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Pekingese, a runner-up from 2011, wins Westminster

The second time was the charm for Malachy the Pekingese at Westminster.

Malachy, a Best in Show finalist at last year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, won the top prize Tuesday night at this year’s installment at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The squat and hairy 4-year-old from Pennsylvania became the fourth Pekingese - and only the 10th dog from the toy group - to win Best in Show in the 105-year history of the award.

“I’m still in shock,” Malachy’s handler and co-owner, David Fitzpatrick, told USA Network seconds after the prize was given. “It’s such a thrill, and I’m just so proud to have a dog that’s of this quality that could win a show like this and have an opportunity to exhibit him here. It’s the thrill of a lifetime.”

Malachy won the toy group - for the second straight year - a day earlier, and vied for Best in Show with the winners of six other groups. The last toy to win Best in Show was a papillon, in 1999.

Judges are instructed to evaluate dogs on how well they fit the written standards - the ideal appearance, movement, temperament and other traits - of their breed. Judge Cindy Vogels of Colorado made her decision after inspecting the seven group winners in front of a crowd that cheered its favorites.

Besides Malachy, the other group winners - and Best in Show finalists - were:

- Hound: A dachshund named Playing With Fire.
- Nonsporting: A Dalmatian named Ruffian.
- Herding: A German shepherd named Captain Crunch.
- Sporting: An Irish setter named Caught Red Handed.
- Terrier: A Kerry blue terrier named Chelsey.
- Working: A Doberman pinscher named Veni Vidi Vici.

Terriers have won 45 of the 105 Westminster Best in Show titles. About 2,000 dogs, representing 185 breeds, were competing in this year's show.

Last year, a hound - Hickory the Scottish deerhound - became the first of her breed ever to capture Westminster’s Best in Show, and only the fifth dog from the hound category to win.

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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • New York
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    Our dog is crossed between this breed (peekinese) and poodle, which makes her a peekapoo. Needless to say she's 6 months old and 10 pounds of love. She looks like a cuddly little apricot colored bear. Huggable, squeezable, kissable. Little bear paws.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocky Mtn Gal

      Sometimes WAY better than people, right!! Our dogs were family & our hearts broke when they passed.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. justice4sarah

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The most ugly people in the world are beautiful, just asked their spouses.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pedro

      "Real beauty is on the inside." – Giving ugly people hope throughout the ages.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sad sam

    doesn't even resemble a dog...

    February 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      No kidding. It looks like a small hairy mutant ape.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dee

    Malachy was not my 1st choice but he is cute in a funny kind of way. Loved the Doberman and Irish Setter. Ok, just for laughs – China's heir apparent is visiting the US now. I am sure he was VERY pleased with Westminster's winner last night since this breed was favored by the Chinese Imperial Court. Not saying this is political........just saying, that's all.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocky Mtn Gal

      I seriously doubt the Westminster Kennel Club gave a flying fig about any Chinese officials being in the US.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew26

      "Just saying" is the last bastion of the wishy-washy. Speak your mind. If you didn't think it was politically motivated, then why mention it? I was stunned the Pekingese won, and we thought the Doberman or Dalmatian would come out on top.

      But if you think the Pekingese came out on top because of a visiting Chinese dignitary, then why didn't the Chinese Crested or Shar Pei do better? We thought the Shar Pei was an amazing example of its breed.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Dee was making a light hearted statement. Do we have to be so serious and ugly in our replies all the time. Lighten up.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Trust me this show is all political. Ask any handler/show owner. Most folks knew who was already going to win/get an award of merit. You may not know who was going to win but most folks in their breed knew who was going to get the award of merit.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeNotYou

      Good gawd, Andrew. Lighten up! You are the only one bringing politics into this. YOu must be a blast to live with.

      Besides, if it was so political, I'd register my Saint Bernard, because everyone knows the Swiss are loved by all, being they are so neutral. Plus the Saints are just too darn adorable!!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. !

    Looks like a Pokemon. Its not going to spit fire at me for saying that is it?

    February 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pug Mom

    When is a pug ever gonna win? Pugs are wonderful dogs. They are friendly, funny, smart, loyal, and soooo lovable.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • horseyak

      When the first gay president gets elected.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reva

      The pug won in 1981

      February 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. So Predictable

    It all comes down to one thing.. politics. While all were worthy contenders, the Doberman was flawless and showed her heart out, she deserved the win. It was rumored weeks ahead of time that it was being set up for the Peke to go BIS, that this was "his year". Guess the rumors were true.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Biased Judging

      I agree that the dog that really should have chosen for best in show was the Doberman, I think they were all incredible specimens in their breed but the Doberman was indeed flawless from head to toe and the way he had carried himself was so poised and confident, FiFi just shined and sparkled! The judge was obviously biased in her decision, whether it be personal or other external influences, she made the wrong decision. How the hell do we know what goes on in their head when they decide after touching and feeling and seeing, It should not come down to one judge to decide but rather a panel, just my thought in changing the way this is being conducted.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Lmfao...both of these comments made me just lmao...I haven't funnier comments in a long time....thank you!

      February 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kelly

    Yuck. That's not a dog.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JennCoolva

    How unfortunate that Westminster Kennel Club felt the need to drop Pedigree as a sponsor as they were advocating for people to adopt shelter animals. TOTALLY has taken me from admiring WKC to now getting them to reverse their decision. How pathetic that they felt "the ads were too depressing"... what do you expect from the 1% of dog owners. Shameful!

    February 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      HUH? your complaining that they dropped Pedigree as a sponsor? Pedigree is one of the worst foods you can feed your dog. Its crap and they probably didnt want to associate themselves with Pedigree anymore.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. horseyak

    Gorgeous dog. Nice to see a small one win. For those who love their shih tzu's, that is a cross between a pekinese and a lhasa.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I wish a Lhasa Apso would win sometime. I still miss my little Laura!! Of course, she never had her hair as long as is required in the show, which I don't understand why that's the look they have chosen for the Lhasa. At least they could pull the hair back like they do the Shih Tzu.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    They always pick a little dog.You never see a pit bull

    February 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gumbalay

    send that little yapper to the bloody crapper!

    February 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BOMBO ©

    Inbred hillbilly mutant wolves, the lot of them.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GG

    The doberman should have won. I guess the judge picked an ugly dog to match her ugly outfit.

    February 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeNotYou

      It must a rule or something that the judges and show-people cannot dress or look any nicer than the dogs. Kinda like not one-upping a bride at a wedding. . .

      February 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Patti

    I believe the Weinreamer and Vizsla were both stunning animals. I also agree that the Doberman sure did show well. As for the WINNER, totally disagree, I will agree with the other pst about possibly being fixed. Then again, THAT'S POLITICS,

    February 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
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