Miniature poodle Sage fetches top prize at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Miniature poodle Sage fetches top prize at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Sage, a Miniature Poodle from Houston, Texas, wins the Best in Show Group during the 148th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
PHOTO: Reuters

NEW YORK — A miniature poodle named Sage was crowned "Best in Show" on May 14 at the 148th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, fetching the grand prise in the most prestigious competition among pure-bred canines in the United States.

The finalist representing all breeds classified as non-sporting dogs, Sage emerged victorious from more than 2,500 top-ranked canines competing in a two-day contest, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in the Queens borough of New York City.

Sage, a 4-year-old black-coloured female groomed in the fine, fluffy topiary style traditional for poodles, competed head to head against the winners in six other groups — terriers, hounds, herding dogs, working dogs, sporting dogs and toy dogs.

She was the first female to win the top prise at Westminster since 2020, according to commentators on the Fox Sports channel, which broadcast the event live.

The Westminster dog show bills itself as the second-oldest US sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby thoroughbred horse race. 2024's competition drew a field of contenders representing 200 breeds from all 50 US states and 12 other countries.

Mercedes, a female 4-year-old German shepherd, was named runner-up for the overall contest, after first winning the top prise in the herding dog group.

Along with Sage and Mercedes, the two other finalists chosen on May 13 were Comet the Shih Tzu, representing the toy group, and Louis, the Afghan hound leading the hound group.

Rounding out the finalists were three group winners chosen on May 14 — Micah the black cocker spaniel, representing sporting dogs; Monty, the giant schnauzer, leading the working dogs; and Frankie, a coloured bull terrier from the terrier group.

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