Best of Breed title eludes Missouri Schnauzer at Westminster

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | 1:24 p.m. CST; updated 12:23 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Liz Hansen and her dog, Vegas, shown here in training, had a successful trip to the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at New York's Madison Square Garden. Vegas won Best of the Opposite Sex among Standard Schnauzers. A female won Best in Breed, so Vegas was named the best male.

COLUMBIA – Vegas didn't win Best of Breed, but he is coming home with a title. 

The Standard Schnauzer from Columbia won Best of Opposite Sex at the Westminster Dog Show on Tuesday.


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The Best of Breed winner this year is CH Uhlan New Moonshine, a female. “He (Vegas) was the best of all the male Standard Schnauzers out there today,” owner Liz Hansen said.

Though this means Vegas did not move onto the Best in Show competition Tuesday evening, Hansen was proud of his new title. “That was a good win,” she said. “He did his job, and I did mine. We did what we could, and then it’s up to the judges.”

The pair’s day began at 5 a.m. with last-minute grooming to ensure every detail was perfect. After grooming, Hansen and Vegas got in place for the show. Hansen said that from where she was standing, everywhere she looked  the crowd was five-people deep.

“It was a little crazy with a lot of noise and a lot of hubbub which can make him a little nervous,” she said. “But as soon as he enters the ring, he perks up, and it’s like he goes, ‘Oh, I know how to be a show dog.’”

Vegas was well-received, she said. “He knows what it means when people cheer,” Hansen said, “He likes that.”

Hansen was proud of Vegas. “He did a real good job in the ring,” she said, adding, “Even when you’ve got a top dog, you’ve got to lose once in a while.”

Hansen and Vegas spent the rest of the day watching the remaining competitions from a separate viewing area created for competitors, complete with treats for the dogs. Hansen and Vegas begin the long drive back to Columbia Wednesday morning and hope to be home by Thursday.

Hansen said she and Vegas plan to compete in the show next year. “We’ll try again," she said, "and maybe next year we’ll have that Best of Breed ribbon.”

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