Meet Wasabi, the winner of the Westminster Dog Show

·2 min read
Wasabi and his handler David Fitzpatrick
Wasabi and his handler David Fitzpatrick

Now before you get all worked up over the winner of a dog competition, remember that it’s a dog competition for the elite class to show off their inbred pooches and when it comes down to it, does not matter too much. But my god is the winner of this year’s Westminster Dog Show a cute tumbleweed-shaped icon.

A Pekinese named Wasabi won Best in Show over the weekend at the pared down but still dramatic 145th Westminster Dog Show. Due to the pandemic the show moved from the winter to June, and mostly took place outside at robber baron Jay Gould’s former country estate in suburban Westchester County. This year no spectators were allowed.

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Wasabi competed against a well-rounded group of goofy looking dogs, including a whippet named Bourbon, a French Bulldog named Mathew, and an Old English Sheepdog named Connor. Wasabi possesses all of the qualities desired in an over-bred dog breed: the squished nose that hinders breathing, plenty of face rolls, a low, small stature, and a stare that looks not at you but through you.

The three-year-old Pekinese was bred with the genes of champions. Wasabi is the son of a champion Pekingese named Sushi, and the great-grandson of Malachy, the 2012 Best in Show winner. Handler David Fitzpatrick bred Wasabi and his winning extended family.

“I didn’t think lightning would strike twice,” Fitzpatrick says.

Despite its change in scenery and lack of audience, the show still brought plenty of elegance and drama to the ring.

“It was a show for the ages,” says judge Patricia Craige Trotter. When it came down to selecting best in show, she says that the tiny dog with his flowing mane “stood there like a lion.”

“He has that little something special,” Fitzpatrick says.

Yes, we totally see it. The glint in his eyes, the steady look on his face, the way he sits graciously next to all of his winnings, it’s all there.