Stump wins Westminster show

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NEW YORK -- An old Sussex spaniel taught dogdom a new trick.

At 10, Stump became the oldest best in show winner ever at the Westminster Kennel Club, coming out of retirement only last week and walking off with the top prize Tuesday night.

A nearly full crowd at Madison Square Garden cheered loudly when judge Sari Tietjen pointed to the new champion. Perhaps the fans knew Stump's backstory -- he almost died in 2004 from a medical condition, saved by the vets at Texas A&M.

"It was miraculous," expert handler Scott Sommer said.

Then again, maybe folks just liked rooting for the old guy. In human years, he's almost 70!

Never before had a Sussex spaniel won the nation's top pooch show. The previous oldest winner was an 8-year-old Papillon in 1999.

With floppy ears and a slow gait, the golden-red Stump beat out a sparkling field. Sommer guided him past a giant schnauzer that was ranked the nation's No. 1 show dog, a favored Brussels griffon, a Scottish deerhound named Tiger Woods, a standard poodle with 94 best in show wins, a Scottish terrier and a puli.

Nearly 2,500 dogs were entered at Westminster.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: