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Cheslie Pickett-Smithey and Justin Smithey with Bourbon.

Whippet Reserve Best In Show at Westminster

        The Whippet GCh. Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon, one of last year's top show dogs in the U.S., won the Hound Group at the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, February 11, in Madison Square Garden, New York. It was the breed's highest award at Westminster since 1964. Bourbon was handled by Cheslie Pickett-Smithey, who also co-owns Bourbon with her husband Justin A Smithey, Dr. Ken Latimer, Judy Descutner and Nancy Shaw.

She was co-bred by Justin Smithey and Yvonne Sovereign, sired by Ch. Bo-Bett's Lord of the Rings, ROMXX and out of Ch. Sowagla Appraxin Patchouli.

        The Best-in-Show finale was judged by Robert Slay, who placed the Whippet as Reserve BIS to the black Standard Poodle GCh. Stone Run Afternoon Tea, "Siba."

        The Hound Group was judged by Marjorie Martorella, a multiple AKC Group judge and herself the breeder of a Pointer that won BIS at Westminster in 1986. She placed the Whippet first in an all-Sighthound finale: Group 2nd was the Scottish Deerhound GCh. Hollyrood Cosmopollyton from Canada, Group 3rd was the Afghan Hound GCh. Agha Djari's Fifth Dimension of Sura (his last show!), and Group 4th was the Saluki GCh. Aurora's Rhythm of My Heart.

        Whippets have won the Hound Group five times at Westminster. The first winner was Ch. Laguna Lucky Lad in 1957; the second, and the only Whippet to win BIS at Westminster, was Eng. & Am. Ch. Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth in 1964. Both were imported from England. The others were all American-bred, but there was no Reserve BIS award when Ch. Sporting Fields Clansman won the Hound Group in 1981 and GCh. Starline's Chanel became the first Whippet bitch to win the Hound Group in 2010. A Reserve BIS winner was chosen at Westminster Kennel Club during the years 1912 through 1925 and was reintroduced in 1913. It has been awarded each year since then.

        A complete list of Sighthound BOB winners with snapshots from the show will be published as soon as possible.


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