NEW YORK: A bichon frise named Flynn was crowned best in show at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, triumphing over the nearly 3,000 dogs that competed in the world-renowned contest for pure-bred canines.
The fluffy white winner edged out six other finalists, including the No. 2 "reserve best in show," a giant schnauzer named Ty, at the end of the annual two-day event at Madison Square Garden in New York City's midtown Manhattan.
The remaining five finalists selected as the top dogs of their respective canine categories were a borzoi, a pug, a border collie, a Sussex spaniel and a Norfolk terrier.
More than 2,880 dogs representing 201 breeds and varieties competed in this year's Westminster Kennel Club contest, touted by organizers as America's second-oldest sporting event after the Kentucky Derby.
The victor receives the coveted Best in Show trophy, a media tour and bragging rights that are sure to boost breeding fees - all rewards for the winner's patience and pluck while enduring seemingly endless blow dryer blasts and tugs from combs and brushes.
Dogs compete in a total of seven groups. Flynn, the winning bichon frise, represented the non-sporting category.
The other groups consisted of hounds, terriers, toy, herding, working and sporting dogs, each judged by characteristics specific to their breeds. (http://tmsnrt.rs/2EnCsOy)
Recognized for its soft, fluffy white coat and baby-doll face, with charcoal-colored eyes and nose, the bichon frise is known for its perky, good-natured disposition. The breed name is derived from the French phrase meaning "curly lap dog."
Dogs joined this year's contest from all 50 U.S. states and 16 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Australia and China, the Westminster Kennel Club said in a statement.
Rumor, a female German shepherd, was named Best in Show at last year's competition.
(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Steve Gorman and Paul Tait)