The Westminster dog show entered its 137th straight year Monday, as over 2,700 dogs descended on New York City to compete in America's second-oldest sporting event.
The competitors come from 187 different breeds and varieties, and all are hoping to clinch the Best in Show prize, awarded Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, according to the Associated Press.
Already, an old favorite has advanced: affenpinscher Banana Joe, known for his monkey-esque face, was picked as best of his breed for the third year in a row, AP reported.
Another possible champ is four-year-old Doberman pinscher named Fifi, also known as the "Fifinator," according to Las Vegas sports bookmaker Johnny Avello.
"She’s had a good year and been very consistent," Avello told Bloomberg Businessweek. "She’s won some shows, gathered a lot of points. She was always right up there if she didn’t win it."
However, if there's one thing the Westminster dog show isn't, its a popularity contest: though Labrador retrievers are the most popular (and many would argue, beloved) breed in America, they have never won a Best in Show.
"We all feel that we've been really ignored," Mary Wiest, a Labrador breeder from New Jersey, told the Wall Street Journal.
Thomas Bradley, the show's chairman, told Reuters he always gets the same two questions about his judging.
"Why did that little dog win?" is one, with the emphasis on ‘little,'" Bradley said. The other?
"How come a Labrador never wins?"
Maybe this year will be the year...
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