The 142nd Westminster Dog Show is underway with four dogs earning spots in the Best in Show competition.
A borzoi won the hound group, a pug took home the top spot in the toy group, a Bichon Frise claimed victory in the non-sporting group and a Border collie won the herding group in the first individual competitions Monday in Madison Square Garden, New York.
The 2018 event will conclude Tuesday with the sporting, working and terrier group battles leading to the Best in Show.
1. Borzoi - GCHG CH Belisarius JP My Sassy Girl
2. Bloodhound - GCH CH Quiet Creek's Limited Edition
3. Beagle - GCH CH Windstar's Magnum Opus
4. Whippet - GCH CH Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey
While the hound group had plenty of competition, the win went to the favorite in the group, Lucy the borzoi.
Here is Lucy celebrating the win, as well as the earlier victory in the breed competition:
The dog was the runner-up at this event in 2016 behind C.J., the German shorthaired pointer. However, she appears to have a strong chance to win it all in 2018.
Magnum the beagle seemed to have won the fans' hearts, while the bloodhound was extremely competitive in the judge's eyes, but Lucy is experienced in these types of events, and it helped put her over the top for the victory.
1. Pug - GCHS CH Hill Country's Puttin' On The Ritz
2. Pekingese - CH Pequest Feel The Burn
3. Affenpinschers - GCHS CH Tamarin Tailback
4. English Toy Spaniels (King Charles & Ruby) - GCH CH Clussexx Paddington Of Flivverway
The Pekingese had dominated this group throughout the history of the show, winning the group 26 times, including last year with Chuckie. The breed won Best in Show in 2012.
Bernie the Pekingese came close to following in the footsteps of this tradition but could only manage second place with Biggie the pug taking the top spot.
Fox Sports captured the changing of the guard in this category:
The affenpinscher and one of the two English toy spaniels in the group showcased impressive temperament to finish in the top four, although it was not enough to beat out the pug.
Biggie replaced his father Rumble, who was supposed to compete in this event before dying, as the Fox Sports broadcast explained.
A pug has only won Best in Show once in the history of this competition, but Biggie will give it his best Tuesday night.
1. Bichon Frises - GCHP CH Belle Creek's All I Care About Is Love
2. Poodles (Standard) - GCH Hightide Stormsurge
3. Boston Terriers - GCH CH Sabe's Simply Invincible
4. Keeshonden - CH Skyline Summerwind Order In The Court
A Bichon Frise hasn't earned the distinction of Best in Show since 2001, but that run could come to an end this year after Flynn carried the flag for the breed in the non-sporting group and earned first place, edging out the standard poodle and Boston terrier.
Flynn's grooming was on point, as his fluffy coat unquestionably caught the eye:
History isn't on Flynn's side when he looks to the next stage of the competition. In addition to the big drought for Bichon Frises, a dog from the non-sporting group last won Best in Show in 2002, when Spice the miniature poodle reigned supreme.
1. Border Collie - GCHP CH Majestic Elite Clever Endeavor
2. Cardigan Welsh Corgis - GCHP2 CH Aubrey's Tails Of Mystery
3. Old English Sheepdog - GCHB CH Bugaboo's Let It Go Blu Mtn
4. Pyrenean Shepherd - GCHG CH Eclipse De La Petite Ferme De Wihr
Never before has a Border collie gone on to win Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show. Slick still has some work to do, but he's at least halfway to making history after winning the herding group to close out Monday night.
Slick exemplified grace under pressure as he showed off for the judge:
Should Slick ultimately prevail, it would be one of the biggest upsets ever at Westminster. Rumor the German shepherd represented the herding group in 2017 and wound up winning Best in Show, but the only other win for the group came in 1987, which was also a German shepherd.
Slick has his work cut out for him if he's to become the third dog to enter that group.
Full results available at WestminsterKennelClub.org.