Toys & Training

Flemington Crew Wins Westminster Canine Obedience Trophy

FLEMINGTON, NJ — A Flemington canine made Westminster Canine Present historical past, as he and his handler received the Masters Obedience Championships whereas additionally having the very best first spherical rating.

Willie, an Australian Shepherd, and Kathleen Keller scored 397.5 out of 400 factors Monday on the well-known present in Tarrytown, N.Y.

5-year-old Willie’s officially-registered identify is OTCH Blue Skies At Dejavu UDX OM1, in line with American Kennel Membership information (for an explainer on why AKC names are so lengthy, click on right here).

Keller and her husband Stephen additionally personal Willie, a information launch stated.

C. Frausini for the Westminster Kennel Membership

Within the obedience competitors, every canine and handler workforce does a sequence of instructions to check the canine’s coaching, focus, and ability.

Every workforce has two possibilities to get as near 200 factors as attainable.

Willie and Keller scored 199.5 in that first spherical, which nabbed them that Excessive Trial Award in addition to Masters Obedience Champion. It is the primary time the profitable canine has received each titles within the competitors’s seven-year historical past, in line with the American Kennel Membership.

Willie confirmed large focus throughout his trial run, competing duties eagerly as Keller gave course. The duo moved confidently across the judging space, and left to whoops and applause from the group.

A video of their trial run is embedded above; when you can’t see it, click on right here to go to YouTube. Willie and Keller seem round one hour, 57 minutes in.

The Westminster Kennel Membership will donate $5,000 to an American Kennel Membership coaching membership of Keller’s selection or to the AKC Humane Fund.

New Jersey canines have historically carried out effectively within the obedience class — a black Labrador retriever named Coronary heart received the Obedience Championship at Westminster for the primary 5 years of the occasion. Coronary heart and owner-handler Linda Brennan hail from Columbia. The 2021 winner, Grant, and his proprietor Mary Ann Flanagan are from Glen Backyard.

The Westminster Canine Present, hosted by the AKC, combines agility and obedience with conformation, or the standard “canine present” portion of the occasion. Because the AKC explains, canine present judges are in search of how effectively purebred contestants conform to their breed’s commonplace.

“The nearer a canine’s look is to the breed’s commonplace, the higher that canine’s potential might be to provide puppies that meet the usual,” the membership says.

Purebred canines are at heart stage in conformation, however mixed-breed canines (referred to as “All-American canines” at Westminster) might compete in obedience and agility.

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