Even with the crowd at Madison Square Garden chanting for a popular golden retriever, the statuesque Siba strutted off with best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night.
Adorned with black puffs and pompoms, the 3-year-old Siba was the absolute picture of what many see as the epitome of a show dog.
Not everyone shared that view. As judge Bob Slay studied Siba in the best-of-seven final ring, a fan shouted out: “No way, Slay, no way!”
Slay stuck by what he saw.
“She’s beautiful and has that something,” handler Chrystal Murray-Clas said.
Bourbon the whippet finished second. Daniel the golden retriver was clearly the second favorite — a golden has never won at Westminster — and fans chanted his name as Slay deliberated.
Bono the Havanese, Wilma the boxer, Conrad the Shetland sheepdog, and Vinny the wire fox terrier also made the final grouping.
Poodles come in three sizes and this was the 10th time one of them has become America’s top dog, the first since 2002. A standard last won in 1991.
Siba put on an entertaining performance in the nonsporting group juding Monday night, doing the downward dog yoga pose before circling the ring. A day later, she was again at her best.