NEW YORK -- A female wire fox terrier named Sky won the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show honor on Tuesday night. She beat out a field of six runners-up in the event's final round, including a standard poodle that earned the Reserve Best in Show nod for second place and a bloodhound that consistently drew the loudest applause from the Madison Square Garden crowd.
Sky, formally known as GCH Afterall Painting The Sky, was accompanied in the ring by seasoned handler Gabriel Rangel.
"She's a perfect dog," Rangel said. "When you put her on the table, she's ready to be brushed. When you put on the leash, she's happy and ready to be walked."
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Judge Betty Regina Leininger, a veteran show-dog breeder, handler and author working her sixth Westminster judging assignment, made the decision.
"There's something magical that happens, and it's hard to put into words," Leininger said. "But it's unmistakable. It's the 'it' factor. I've seen her before, but she was really on.
"This was her night."
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Sky, of Rialto, Calif., won the Best in Breed for wire fox terriers at the 2013 Westminster event. She also won the 2012 Eukanuba National Championship and Best in Show at the 2012 National Dog Show.
"I'm used to winning, but not like this," said owner Victor Malzoni Jr. "This is something very incredible to me."
Sky's victory at Westminster follows two straight winners from the toy group. An affenpinscher took the event's highest honor in 2013 and a Pekingese won Best in Show in 2012.
This year's Westminster event boasted 2,845 competitors across the 187 eligible breeds and varieties, with dogs representing all 50 states and 13 different countries.
Three new breeds -- the rat terrier, Portuguese podengo pequeno and Chinook -- entered the competition in 2014. None of the new breeds won the Best of Group honor in its respective category, meaning none was eligible to win Best in Show.