And then there was one.
Trumpet the Bloodhound won the highly coveted Best of Show honor at the 146th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York, besting over 3,500 dogs of more than 200 different breeds for the ultimate prize.
Trumpet the Bloodhound's selection marked history. He's the first Bloodhound to ever win Best in Show in Westminster's 146-year history. A Bloodhound first entered Westminster, the second oldest continuously running sport event in the U.S. behind the Kentucky Derby, in 1978. Broadcasters labeled his win an "upset."
"I am so excited for Trumpet," said handler Heather Buehner, who co-owns and bred the "goofball." She added, "He has a lot of attitude and he's a little crazy."
Trumpet is a 4-year-old from Saint Joseph, Illinois. He's the son of Nathan, who won the Hound Group in 2014, but Nathan fell short of the grand prize. His son didn't.
The champion was selected by Dr. Don Sturz, a breeder, handler and former Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show analyst for Fox Sports, who served as the sole judge for Best in Show. Sturz gave the runner-up honor – Reserve Best in Show – to Winston the French Bulldog, who is co-owned by NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox.
Westminster is often described as the Super Bowl of U.S. dog shows, and Winston aimed to make it for Fox, who was just signed by the Los Angeles Chargers and has played for the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
“He’s a joy to be around,” Fox said of Winston, the current top-ranked dog in the country. “He always walks around with as much of a smile on his face as a dog can have.”
The Best In Show winner is selected from seven competitors – each of whom first had to be Best in Breed, and then best in one of the seven groups that purebred dogs are divided into: Hound, Toy, Non-sporting, Sporting, Herding, Working and Terrier.
In addition to Trumpet (Hound) and Winston (Non-sporting), the finalists were Hollywood the Maltese (Toy); River the German Shepherd Dog (Herding); Belle the English Setter (Sporting); Striker the Samoyed (Working); and MM the Lakeland Terrier (Terrier).
Wasabi the Pekingese (Toy) won last year's honors.
Usually held in winter at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the show moved to the suburban Lyndhurst estate last year and this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Wayne Coffey
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bloodhound wins Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show