The 2021 Westminster Dog Show got underway Saturday, and winners were declared in four groups: hound, toy, non-sporting and herding. The winners of the other three groups will be decided Sunday, which is also when the Best in Show competition will be taking place.
The seven group winners will then be battling for Best in Show. Last year, the award went to Siba, a poodle, marking the second time in three years that a dog from the non-sporting group received the honor. This year's non-sporting winner is Mathew, a French bulldog, who will be looking to continue the group's overall success.
For 2021, the event has moved outdoors to Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York. The long-running competition is typically held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
With Saturday's events complete and Sunday's competitions looming, here's everything you need to know heading into the final day of this year's Westminster Dog Show.
Breed judging, junior showmanship preliminaries, 1:30-4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Pre-show, 7-7:30 p.m. ET, Fox
Group judging (sporting, working, terrier), Best in Show, 7:30-11 p.m. ET, Fox
Coverage can be streamed live on the Fox Sports app.
Last year, Bourbon the whippet came up short in the Best in Show competition, taking second. However, Bourbon went on to win the American Kennel Club National Championship last December.
And Bourbon is once again looking to claim the Best in Show prize in the Westminster Dog Show. On Saturday, she won the hound group, and she will now try to become the first hound to win the top honor since Miss P the beagle in 2015.
"[Bourbon's] come a long way—as a really unruly puppy and then a really great show career and then a mom," handler Cheslie Pickett Smithey said, per Jennifer Peltz of the Associated Press.
Earlier this year, Bourbon had her first puppies. Now, she could soon become a Best in Show champion.
The other three group winners Saturday were Wasabi the pekingese (toy), Mathew the French bulldog (non-sporting) and Connor the old English sheepdog (herding). The winners from the sporting, working and terrier groups will join them in Sunday night's Best in Show competition.
Wasabi has had success on a big stage before, as he won the 2019 American Kennel Club National Championship. The pekingese also has a strong pedigree. His grandfather, Malachy, was the pekingese who won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 2012.
It's possible that Wasabi could receive that honor himself Sunday night.
"He's just a fantastic dog," handler/breeder David Fitzpatrick said, per Peltz. "He's got the charisma and the movement and the showmanship that you want to have."
While there are no spectators in attendance this weekend because of COVID-19 restrictions, one familiar face Sunday will be that of Patricia Trotter, who is again serving as a judge for the Best in Show competition. She will help decide which of the seven group winners will earn the top prize.
Trotter is 85 and knows exactly how prestigious this annual event is.
"The Westminster Dog Show is the Super Bowl and the World Series [wrapped into] one," Trotter told Wayne Coffey of USA Today. "There are hundreds and hundreds of dog shows, but there is only one Westminster."
Wlll one of Saturday's four group winners earn the top prize, or will the Best in Show dog come from one of Sunday's three group winners? We'll be finding out soon enough.