A German shorthaired pointer named CJ was appointed top dog Tuesday night at the nation’s most prestigious dog competition.
The 3-year-old contender beat 2,751 competitors, including a handful of favorites — a German shepherd, bulldog, shih tzu and a Skye terrier who came in second last year — to win Best in Show at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club at Madison Square Garden in New York.
There’s no monetary award attached to the honors, but CJ’s owners will enjoy valuable breeding rights. CJ, whose initials stand for “California Journey,” has 18 “best in show” wins to his name in six months.
CJ’s grandmother, Carlee, also took the top Westminster title in 2005. CJ’s co-owner and handler, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, also owned Carlee.
Following his grandmother, CJ is the third German shorthaired pointer to snatch best in show at Westminster.
“He has that extra sparkle,” Nunes-Atkinson said about CJ. “He’s an old soul.”
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Like a superstitious athlete, CJ has a ritual. He bows down to stretch and sneezes every time he shows, the Associated Press reported. CJ is also co-owned by Alice Manning and Yvonne Hassler-Deterding.
A borzoi named Lucy took second place.