TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Is the hound trumpeting a win, or is his little cousin playing a win? What about the owned French bulldog in the NFL? Or does the German Shepherd have the flow to take the top prize?
Trumpet the hound, Hollywood the Maltese, Winston the French bulldog and River the German shepherd were chosen Tuesday to advance to the final round of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Three more finalists will be selected on Wednesday night, when the seven square off for the coveted Best Show award.
One of Winston’s owners is defensive lineman Morgan Fox, who was signed last month by the Los Angeles Chargers after six seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
“If this is how my parents felt watching my games all these years, I apologize,” Fox tweeted after Winston’s victory.
Athletes have found their way to Westminster in the past.
New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig brought his German Shepherd to the competition in the 1930s and Hall of Famer Mike Mussina had an Irish Setter that competed. Major League Baseball catcher Ryan Hanigan owned a breed-winning Australian Shepherd during his playing days and former Florida State linebacker Keith Carter showed off a Rottweiler.
Trumpet, a bloodhound from a storied bloodline, loves the crowds and the energy of the big show, his handlers say. River took the ring in stride, but manager Lenny Brown said they are taking the competition “one step at a time.”
And Hollywood has, well, star quality.
“She loves being in the ring. And she loves her outside of the ring too,” manager Tim Lehman told the crowd in an in-ring interview.
Among the small Hollywood opponents in the toy group was Porsche, the first semifinalist of its race, the Russian toy. She became eligible for the Westminster show this year. Barely a year and a half old, Porsche took a spirited turn under the lights Tuesday night.
“Little dog, but big personality,” said owner and handler Jolanta Terrell of North Palm Beach, Florida, before the competition.
Also new was the Mudi, a Hungarian sheepdog. A mudi named Guava took the first Westminster prize for the breed.
At the other end of the spectrum, American Staffordshire Terrier winner Louie makes it to the semis on Wednesday to try and get his best finish.
After winning top prize at dozens of other shows, 8 1/2-year-old Louie retires after Westminster, where he reached the semi-finals multiple times.
Whatever happens on Wednesday night, all he had to do was look at his competitors to see his legacy. Two of his daughters and one of his sons won ribbons alongside him at their breed meet on Tuesday.
And for owner Kim Rudzik of Westfield, Massachusetts, Louie has a bigger title than best in show business.
“The coolest dog in the world,” he said.
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