This Is the First 'PBGV' to Win Westminster

Petit basset griffon Vendéen wins best in show
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2023 12:45 AM CDT
This Is the First 'PBGV' to Win Westminster
The judges presents handler Janice Hays and Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vend?en, his trophy and ribbon after he won best in show during the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog show Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

This Buddy Holly no longer has to sigh, “That’ll be the day.” A petit basset griffon Vendéen named for the late rock ‘n’ roll legend won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday night, a first for the rabbit-hunting breed, the AP reports. Buddy Holly bested six other finalists to garner the most prestigious dog show award in the United States. "I never thought a PBGV would do this," handler and co-owner Janice Hayes said. "Buddy Holly is the epitome of a show dog. Nothing bothers him."

Indeed, his white-tipped tail didn't stop wagging while he competed in the stadium where the US Open tennis tournament's top matches are played. Nor while he posed for countless pictures after a win that Hayes called “so surreal.” “We're so proud of him,” she said. His competitors included Rummie, a Pekingese that came in second after aiming to bring home the third trophy in 11 years for his small-but-regal breed—and for handler, owner, and breeder David Fitzpatrick. He guided Pekes Malachy and Wasabi to Westminster wins in 2012 and 2021, respectively.

If Buddy Holly was feeling the pressure, he wasn't letting it show ahead of the finals. Instead, he seemed more concerned late Tuesday afternoon with playing with his people and rejecting the notion of a nap in his crate. “He just screams PBGV,” Hayes said. “They're just very independent but very charming and just silly. Their goal is to make you laugh every day.” Originally from France, the small hounds are the 154th most prevalent purebreds in the country, according to recent American Kennel Club rankings. (Their name means “low-lying, wire-haired dog from the Vendée region” and is pronounced peh-TEE’ bah-SAY’ grihf-FAHN’ vahn-DAY’-ahn.) More from the show, including fan favorites, here.

(More Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.