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Unusual Hound Wins Top Prize at Biggest US Dog Show

Handler Janice Hays poses for photos with Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen, after he won best in show during the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog show Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Unusual Hound Wins Top Prize at Biggest US Dog Show
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A petit basset griffon Vendéen, or PBGV, won top prize at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City Tuesday.

The dog, called Buddy Holly, won the award for best in show. The breed he represents is known for its rabbit-hunting ability. Buddy Holly defeated six other candidates to take the prize at the most famous dog show in the United States.

This year’s event was held at the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

“I never thought a PBGV would do this,” handler and co-owner Janice Hayes said. “Buddy Holly is the epitome of a show dog. Nothing bothers him.”

His competitors included Rummie, a Pekingese that came in second. His owner and handler, David Fitzpatrick, breeds the small dogs. Rummie is, in Fitzpatrick’s words “true to Pekingese type, lots of carriage, presence — everything in one, here.”

Winston the French bulldog was also seeking the best in show prize, after coming close last year. An Australian shepherd named Ribbon, an English setter called Cider, a giant schnauzer named Monty and an American Staffordshire terrier called Trouble also were in the final group of competitors.

If Buddy Holly was feeling the pressure, he did not show it ahead of the finals. He spent the late day playing with his people and rejecting any proposal that he take a rest before the final competition.

“He just screams PBGV,” Hayes said, noting that the breed is independent and full of fun.

“Their goal is to make you laugh every day,” she said.

The breed began in France. The American Kennel Club says the small hounds are the 154th most common purebreds in the U.S. Buddy Holly has also lived and competed in Britain, Ireland and Australia.

About 2,500 dogs competed at Westminster this year. The show also includes obedience and agility competitions that are open to mixed-breed dogs.

And what is next for Buddy Holly? A good night’s sleep, “upside down, rolling in pillows,” Hayes said.

“He just gets to go back to being a dog.”

I’m Caty Weaver.

The Associated Press’s Jennifer Peltz reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

breed n. a group of animals or plants usually found only under human care and different from related kinds

handlern. the human presenter and guide of a dog at the show

epitome n. a typical or ideal example

type –n. an example of something

carriage n. manner of holding the body

agility n. the ability to move quickly and easily

pillow n. a bag filled with soft material on which one can rest


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