Owner speaks out after dog makes history with Westminster win

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(NEW YORK) — Who’s the best boy?

Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen or PBGV, was named the 2023 best in show winner at the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday evening in New York.

The 6-year-old hound from Palm Springs, California, was crowned top dog at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, making history as the first PBGV to win, according to a news release.

This year 2,500 dogs were entered into the competition.

Buddy Holly made his first exclusive morning show debut as champion, arriving at the Good Morning America studio in a winner-worthy Rolls-Royce.

Buddy Holly’s handler and co-owner Janice Hayes told GMA she knew from the age of 9 that she would train a champion dog.

“I knew it was going to happen. I don’t know why, I just fell in love with the sport then and I knew exactly what I wanted to do from then,” Hayes said.

Gail Miller Bisher, the Westminster Kennel Club’s director of communications, said all seven finalists were excellent examples of their breeds but Buddy Holly truly stood out.

“I think Buddy, of course, had these key features that are so important to the breed, which are a very balanced body, compact. He has the mustache, the long eyebrows, all these key features that are so important and of course, when he’s going around that ring, he has his tail up, nice tapered tail,” Bisher explained.

“He has, most importantly, the attitude and temperament. They’re supposed to be extroverts, they’re supposed to be confident. He clearly has that,” Bisher added.

Hayes said Buddy Holly loves treats and although he loves the camera too, the dog has now retired from competition.

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