Go, Banana!

Banana Joe wins Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Feb 13, 2013 | By Jaime Joyce with AP reporting
STAN HONDA—AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher, won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club  Dog Show in New York City.

Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher, took the top prize at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Tuesday night. Runners up at the Best in Show competition included an old English sheepdog named Swagger and a Portuguese water dog, the same breed as President Barack Obama’s dog, Bo.

“He’s won a lot of big shows, but not like this one,” said Banana Joe’s handler, Ernesto Lara.

Judge Michael Dougherty was impressed by the little dog’s turn on the green carpet. “He was on the minute he walked in,” Dougherty said. “He’s in perfect condition, perfect body,” he added.

Also on Tuesday night, Savannah Livingston was named Best Handler in the Junior Showmanship Finals. The category is open to young people ages 9 to 18. They’re judged on how well they handle their animals. Savannah’s dog is a black cocker spaniel.

Westminster, Old and New

Savannah Livingston leaves the ring after winning the Junior Showmanship title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
ED LEFKOWICZ—DEMOTOX/CORBIS
Savannah Livingston leaves the ring after winning the Junior Showmanship title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is the second-oldest continuously running sporting event in the United States. The first show was in 1877. The light bulb, the car and the basketball had not yet been invented.

Since its start, Westminster has been held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. This year for the first time, however, the show’s daytime events were held at a different location in the city. A total of 2,721 dogs representing 187 breeds and varieties competed. Two new breeds added to the show this year were the treeing Walker coonhound and the Russell terrier.

People from across the country and around the world came to New York to be part of the big show, including Suzanne Percello, of Connecticut. She called Westminster a must-see for dog lovers. “This is the bucket list,” she told TFK. “This is definitely the Super Bowl of dog shows.”

Click here to view photos from the show: http://www.timeforkids.com/photos-video/slideshow/2013-dog-show/79111