Long-shot breeds aim for best-in-show at NY dog show

Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:05pm EST
 
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A crowd-pleasing wrinkly Shar Pei, a bearded collie and a gangly Scottish deerhound were poised to paw their way to victory and make history on Tuesday at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show.

No member of their breeds has ever won the top prize in the famed show's 135-year history.

The biggest honor -- to be named best-in-show among some 2,600 entrants -- is chosen on Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden.

Four group winners were picked on Monday from the toy, nonsporting, hound and herding groups, while winners from the sporting, working and terrier groups were being picked on Tuesday, the second day of the two-day show.

The top dogs in each of the seven groups vie for best-in-show.

If history is any guide, the bearded collie named Mister Baggins will face tough going. There has been only one best-in-show, a German Shepherd, from the herding group.

Las Vegas oddsmakers call the Shar Pei named Miss Jayne Hathaway a long shot, with odds of 110-to-1 on her chances of winning. Then again, her breed has never before graced the best-in-show ring at all, so change could be afoot.

The Pekingese who won the toy group could have an edge as the fluffy, somewhat comical dogs have won best-in-show three times at Westminster.   Continued...

 
<p>Bearded Collie Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins looks up at his handler Clifford Steele in the ring while winning the Herding Group at the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York February 14, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>