Now this bloodhound has something to honk his horn about.

A hound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Wednesday night, marking the first time the breed has scooped America’s most coveted dog award.

Trumpet circled the finalists’ ring with a steady, powerful stride, beating a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland terrier to take home the trophy.

“I was surprised,” said handler, co-breeder and co-owner Heather Helmer, who also goes by Heather Buehner. The competition was tough, “and sometimes I feel like the hound is a bit of a loser.”

After making dog show history, does Trumpet have any idea how special he is?

“I think so,” said his manager based in Berlin Center, Ohio.

Winston, a French bulldog co-owned by NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox, took second place at the nation’s most prestigious dog show.

The competition attracted more than 3,000 purebred dogs, from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers. The objective is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for his breed.

The show, which usually takes place in the winter at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, moved last year and this year to the suburban Lyndhurst property due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Westminster is often described as the Super Bowl of US dog shows, and Winston intended it to be for Fox, a defensive lineman who just signed with the Los Angeles Chargers and has played for the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.

Before the final, Fox said he was “ecstatic” when Winston got there.

Winston, a French bulldog co-owned by NFL defensive lineman Morgan Fox, took second place at the nation’s most prestigious dog show. (Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press)

“He’s basically a superstar,” Fox said by phone Wednesday.

The dog came from his grandmother, Sandy Fox, who has been breeding and showing Frenchies for years. Morgan Fox grew up with one and says that as he watched Winston mature, he knew the dog was a winner in both looks and character.

“He’s a joy to be around,” Fox said. “He always walks around with the biggest smile on his face that a dog can have.”

A close-up of a white fluffy dog.
Striker, a Samoyed, competes in the task force. The striker won the group. (Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press)

Winston, currently the top-ranked dog in the country, faced Striker, a Samoyed who also reached the final last year; River, a grand prize-winning German Shepherd; and Trumpet, a bloodhound descended from the winner of another major show in 2014, the Thanksgiving-season National Dog Show.

After topping the dog rankings last year, Striker has lately attended a few dog shows “to keep his head in the game,” handler Laura King said.

What makes the Snow White Samoyed shine in competition? “Her heart,” said King, of Milan, Illinois.

“His charisma shows when it shows,” and he complains vocally when it doesn’t, he said.

A large white dog with brown spots runs in the ring with his handler.
Belle, an English setter, competes in the sporting group at the 146th Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Wednesday. Belle won the group and went on to compete for Best in Show. (Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press)

While I was quiet in the ring, an Alaskan Malamute gave a howl, cheers? — soundtrack for a semi-final round featuring Samoyeds and other breeds classified as working dogs.

Then there was MM, the Lakeland terrier (terriers have won plenty of Westminster awards) and a Maltese who was clearly aiming for stardom: his name is Hollywood.

But the queen of the ball could be an English setter. Belle made it to the final after one of her breeders and owners, Amanda Ciaravino, escorted her around the ring, a feat at an event where many of the top contenders are joined by full-time race managers. .

“It’s amazing,” Ciaravino said excitedly. “I’m very proud of her.”

A close up of a brown and black dog.
Otis, a bullmastiff, relaxes after competing. (Jennifer Peltz/The Associated Press)

Monty, a giant schnauzer who reached the semi-finals on Wednesday night but did not advance any further, is the son of the dog that won the 2018 Westminster second place award. Classified as a working dog, Monty enjoys working in the yard , which, for him, means presenting a soccer ball to be thrown while Adam, the husband of manager and co-owner Katie Bernardin, is mowing the lawn, she said.

Another competitor, Ooma, was the only Chinook to show up. Sled pullers are the official dogs of the state of New Hampshire, but they are rare throughout the country.

“I’d love to see a couple more” in the ring at Westminster, said Ooma breeder, owner and handler Patti Richards of West Haven, Vermont. “Without people showing and reproducing, we are in danger of losing our race.”

A dog with a smiling face walks towards the camera.
A handler runs a Golden Retriever dog during a competition. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Bonnie the Brittany is the first show dog for owner and handler Dr. Jessica Sielawa, and the two didn’t take home a ribbon on Wednesday. But her teamwork extends beyond the ring.

Bonnie accompanies Sielawa to work at his chiropractic office in Syracuse, New York, where “he really helped people with their emotional stress,” Sielawa said.

He also plans to certify his show dog as a therapy dog.

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