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Meet Sage, the winner of the 2024 Westminster Dog Show

We have a winner!
/ Source: TODAY

More than 2,500 dogs from all over the country entered the 148th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which kicked off May 11. Four days later, only one pooch stood alone winning best in show.

148th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show - Show Night
Sage competes in the 148th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on May 13, 2024, in New York City. Mike Stobe / Getty Images for Westminster Kennel Club

Sage — a miniature poodle from Houston, Texas —?won the 2024 Westminster Dog Show on Tuesday, May 14. Sage and her handler, Kaz Hosaka, celebrated their victory by shaking the hands of their competitors' owners.

"I'm so happy," Hosaka shared in an interview immediately after Sage was declared the winner. "She gave me a great performance ... I'm proud of this dog."

Hosaka also shared that after his 45th Westminster Dog Show, this would be his last show.

US-ANIMAL-DOG-WESTMINSTER
Sage and Hosaka after the dog won best in show.Kena Betancur / AFP via Getty Images

Since this year's show began, dogs have been narrowed down through best of breed competitions, group rounds and then in the final best in show face-off.

Sage, who represented the non-sporting group, beat out:

  • Mercedes, a German shepherd from the herding group
  • Comet, a shih tzu from the toy group
  • Louis, an Afghan hound from the hound group
  • Frankie, a colored bull terrier from the terrier group
  • Monday, a giant schnauzer from the working group
  • Micah, a cocker spaniel from the sporting group

Mercedes, the German shepherd, won reserve best in show, which is considered second place.

Best in show judge Rosalind Kramer, who was sequestered prior to the final competition, said she would judge each dog against its breed, not against each other. She also said the final decision comes down to two elements: showmanship and personality.

As Sage was declared the winner at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, the audience erupted in cheers.

Sage inherits the crown from last year’s winner Buddy Holly, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen and his handler and co-owner Janice Hayes.?

“We are just so proud of him,” said of the gray and white 6-year-old pup after he won in 2023.?

The wire fox terrier holds the record as the breed with the most victories, landing 15 wins over the years.?

Although she didn’t win the top prize, 6-year-old Nimble made history on May 13 as the first All-American dog, or mixed-breed, to complete the agility competition the fastest, according to People. The energetic pup finished the championship round in just 28.76 seconds.

The Westminster Kennel Club posted a video of her impressive run on TikTok. In the clip, Nimble zooms through the course as the announcer cheers, “The crowd is going crazy!”

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