Sage the dapper poodle takes home ‘Best in Show’ at Westminster Dog Show

It was a paw-sitively fabulous night.

Sage the dapper poodle took home the title for “Best in Show” at the 148th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday evening.

The 3-year-old miniature poodle from Houston won the top prize at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens after beating out more than 3,000 pups across three riveting days of competition.

Sage, a miniature poodle, poses for photos after winning best in show at the 148th Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. AP

“No words,” remarked handler Kaz Hosaka, who revealed this year’s Westminster would be his last after spending 45 years in the ring.

The Best in Show win marked Hosaka’s second — he led another miniature poodle, Spice, to the trophy in 2002.

“So happy — exciting,” Hosaka said, adding that the uniquely styled pup “gave a great performance for me.”

Sage — who sported giant 80s-esque hair — was awarded the crown after the competition was narrowed down to what best in show judge, Rosalind Kramer, called an “absolutely glorious” lineup of dogs: Mercedes the German shepherd, Comet the Shih Tzu, Louis the Afghan, Micha the black cocker spaniel, Monty the giant schnauzer and Frankie the colored bull terrier.

Monty was initially favored to win, but sent shockwaves through the arena when he was locked out of the top two, coming behind Sage and Mercedes, the latter of which was crowned the Reserve Best in Show.

The 3-year-old miniature poodle from Houston won the top prize after beating out more than 3,000 pups across three riveting days of competition. AFP via Getty Images
Sage was awarded the crown after the competition was narrowed down to what best in show judge Rosalind Kramer called an “absolutely glorious” lineup of dogs. REUTERS
Junior Handler Octavia Stenson reacts to winning with her dog, a Norwegian Buhund named Pineapple, during the 148th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on May 14, 2024. SARAH YENESEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Micah, winner of Sporting Group, competes during the 148th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – Best In Show at Arthur Ashe Stadium on May 14, 2024, in Queens, New York. Getty Images for Westminster Kennel Club

They’re judged according to which one best matches the “standard,” or ideal, for its breed.

The more than 200 dog breeds present first competited against others of their breed. Then the winner of each breed goes up against others in its “group” until the top seven group winners meet in the final round.

Sage moved on to the final round after beating out 21 other dogs competing in the non-sporting group.

The Best in Show winner gets a trophy and a place in dog-world history, but no cash prize.

Sage’s win marks the 11th triumph for poodles of various sizes in the US’s most prestigious canine event, the last of which came in 2020.

With Post wires

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