Malachy the Pekingese Wins Best in Show at Westminster
02/14/2012 AT 11:35 PM EST
A fluffy 4-year-old Pekingese named Malachy waddled, wiggled and wobbled away with the title of Best in Show at the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
The well-decorated dog (formal name: Ch Palacegarden Malachy) is no stranger to the spotlight; he already has 114 other dog show wins under his belt. Owned by David Fitzpatrick, Iris Love and Sandra Middlebrooks, Malachy is the sixth Pekingese ever to win Best in Show at Westminster, and the first since 1990.
"I'm still in shock, it's such a thrill," said Fitzpatrick, who handled the dog on the green carpet Tuesday. "I'm just so proud to have a dog that's of this quality that could win a show like this, and to have the opportunity to exhibit him here – it's the thrill of a lifetime."
Judge Cindy Vogels chose the diminutive pooch over a wirehaired dachshund, a Doberman pinscher, a German shepherd, an Irish setter, a Dalmatian and a kerry blue terrier.
The Pekingese, with its tiny stride and impossibly voluminous hair, originated in ancient China and came to America by way of England. Malachy couldn't be more different from last year's winner, a 5-year-old Scottish deerhound named Hickory, the first dog of her breed to win the title. This year, six new breeds – the Entlebucher mountain dog, the Norwegian Lundehund, the American English coonhound, the Finnish Lapphund, the Cesky terrier and the Xoloitzcuintli – were eligible to compete.
Established in 1877, the Westminster Dog Show is the second longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., just a year behind the Kentucky Derby, according to the club. The show, which aired live on the USA NetworkTuesday, has been televised since 1948.