Hound tops award-win­nin’ brother at West­min­ster

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY BEN WALKER

Straight up, this was a West­min­ster Ken­nel Club sur­prise: Bour­bon over Whiskey.

A big-winning whip­pet was bounced from Amer­ica’s top pooch pageant Mon­day — knocked off, in fact, by his own sis­ter.

Whiskey had won the prized Na­tional Dog Show tele­vised on Thanks­giv­ing Day and the prom­i­nent AKC event shown on New Year’s Day. But his bid for a Triple Crown of dog­dom ended when he was topped by lit­ter­mate Bour­bon in the breed judg­ing.

“She’s the new kid on the block,” han­dler Ch­es­lie Pick­ett Smithey said.

Bour­bon ad­vanced to the hound group com­pe­ti­tion at Madi­son Square Gar­den on Mon­day. The toy, herd­ing and non­sport­ing champ also will com­pete — Big­gie the pug, who had fans chant­ing his name at the Gar­den last year, ad­vanced to the evening ses­sion.

More than 2,800 dogs in 203 breeds and va­ri­eties were en­tered. The best in show will be picked Tues­day.

For Pick­ett Smithey, the win was a bit bit­ter­sweet. She teared up talk­ing about the re­sult be­cause she and her hus­band, Justin Smithey of Sugar Val­ley, Ga., co-own both dogs. He guided Whiskey in the ring.

“I just hate beat­ing Whiskey,” she said.

Last year, Whiskey won the breed at West­min­ster, and Bour­bon was awarded best of op­po­site sex. This time, the 3-year-olds switched places.

“We’re as proud as we can get,” he said.

Whiskey wasn’t sour af­ter the up­set. The lit­ter­mates are “best buds,” Ch­es­lie said, and nuz­zled out­side the ring when it was over.

Whip­pets are sim­i­lar to grey­hounds, only smaller. They’re known for their tremen­dous run­ning speed.

This year’s West­min­ster fea­tures two new breeds, the grand bas­set grif­fon Ven­deen and the Ned­er­landse kooik­er­hondje.

Bour­bon, a whip­pet, walks away with win in hound group.

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