Wasabi The Pekingese Wins Best In Show At 2021 Westminster Dog Show
A three-year-old Pekingese named Wasabi took home the award for Best in Show at the 145th Westminster Dog Show on Sunday night. Runner-up title was given to Bourbon, the Whippet.
The competition this year was held at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. For the first time since the competition was founded in 1877, the location of the competition was relocated from New York’s Madison Square Garden this year due to COVID-19 and held in June instead of February.
According to the Westminster Kennel Club, it is the longest nationally running televised live dog show. In order for a dog to win Best in Show, it must win Best of Bread and then the group category.
This year’s winning Pekingese hails from East Berlin, Adams County in central Pennsylvania with his breeder and handler David Fitzpatrick. This isn’t Fitzpatrick’s first win, his first Westminster Best in Show title was awarded to Wasabi’s grandfather, Malachy back in 2012. Fitzpatrick has been participating in dog shows for over 50 years, and grooms and trains his dogs with love on his five acres of land on his East Berlin estate. Fitzpatrick credited Wasabi’s individuality for winning over the judges.
“He’s just a wonderful dog and he’s made correctly. He has showmanship,” Fitzpatrick said. “He fits the breed standard. He has that little extra something, that little sparkle that sets a dog apart.”
On Monday morning, Fitzpatrick and Wasabi appeared on Good Morning America and Fitzpatrick acknowledged Wasabi’s cool and collected demeanor. “He’s just really a cool dog,” Fitzpatrick said. “He’s enjoyed being at the shows and has a great temperament.”
This isn’t Wasabi’s first appearance on GMA, in January 2020, the pooch won at the American Kennel Club Dog Show. Fitzpatrick said that at the time he was surprised that Wasabi won the title at such a young age, and feels now at three-year-old the dog is more in his prime. But Fitzpatrick announced Wasabi’s will be retired from most competitions.
“There might be a large show in the future he goes to, but he won’t go to the regular dog shows anymore,” Fitzpatrick said.
After Wasabi’s big win on Sunday night, Fitzpatrick revealed how the duo would be celebrating. “He can have a filet mignon and I’ll have champagne,” Fitzpatrick said.