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Wire fox terrier Sky wins Best in Show at Westminster

Sky, a wire fox terrier, is carried from

Sky, a wire fox terrier, is carried from the competition ring after winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Manhattan. Photo Credit: AP / John Minchillo

Sky the wire fox terrier became America's top dog Tuesday night, winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.

She beat out a standard poodle, a Portuguese water dog, bloodhound, an Irish water spaniel, a Cardigan Welsh corgi and a miniature pinscher.

Judge Betty Regina Leininger picked the winner inside a nearly full Madison Square Garden as the fans called out for their favorites. The standard poodle, named Ally, was chosen runner-up.

This was the 14th time a wire fox terrier has won at the nation's top dog show. No other breed has won more than eight times.

Handler Gabriel Rangel, who won Westminster four years ago while guiding Sadie the Scottish terrier, led Sky to her 129th best-in-show ribbon overall -- she became a Triple Crown winner in dogdom, too, having previously taken the National Dog Show and the top AKC event.

Five-year-old Sky lives in Rialto, Calif., with Rangel.

There were 2,845 dogs entered in the 138th Westminster Kennel Club show. They were eligible in 190 breeds and varieties.

The dog show is "the big stage," said Maura Ptacek of Huntington Station, who has been breeding and showing dogs for 35 years and has consistently entered her dogs in the competition.

"It would be lovely to see Big Louie finish in the Garden," she said, looking from the spectators' section, admiring her English setter's soft, silky white-and-tan spotted coat. "He's always happy."

But maybe not Tuesday when, moments later, Big Louie was eliminated from representing his breed in the Best in Show competition.

"There's always another show," she said. "If you don't win today, you can win tomorrow. Listen, if you don't roll with the punches, this is not your sport."

"To win in Westminster is a dream come true," said Merrilee Dantonio, owner and handler of 5-year-old Philo, a fluffy, snow-white Samoyed from Massapequa and a champion in Canada. Philo was eliminated, but Dantonio said he was still her "silly loving boy."

Bogey, another Samoyed from New Jersey, won best in his breed and competed in his working breed group.

With AP

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