Meet Buddy Holly: The 2023 ‘Best in Show’ Winner at the Westminster Kennel Club Show

Written by Mike Edmisten
Updated: July 26, 2023
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The Westminster Kennel Club Show is the premier dog show in the United States. The most coveted award in the dog show universe is ‘Best in Show’ at Westminster. On Tuesday night, the judges crowned the 2023 winner of that most prestigious award.

2023 ‘Best in Show’ Winner

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV) was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at this year’s show. Janice Hayes (who handled the dog during the show), Lizzie Cadmore, Cathy Oneill, and Donna Moore own the dog, named Buddy Holly. This marks the first time the PBGV has taken ‘Best in Show’ honors at Westminster.

About the Breed

The PBGV originated from the Vendéen region in western France. It is a scent hound. PBGVs have one of the strongest noses of all dogs. The breed’s thick, wiry coat allows it to move through brush as it pursues its quarry. The PBGV became such a desirable breed that it became one of the dogs owned by the French nobility, earning it the nickname Chiens du Roi, or the “King’s Dogs.”

The dog’s French name describes its small size. Petit means “little,” and basset means “low.” Both male and female PBGVs grow to around 13-15 inches tall and weigh 25-40 pounds. The breed’s name also alludes to its coat. Griffon means “shaggy.” Vendéen refers to the breed’s place of origin. The PBGV breed did not arrive in the United States until the 1970s.

PBGVs are energetic and full of personality. It is a wonderful breed for families. PBGVs love their people! The dog can be a bit stubborn, so proper training needs to begin early.

Here’s a look at Buddy Holly’s winning moment at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Show.

Group Winners

There were 210 breeds from 49 states and 13 countries competing at this year’s show. Those breeds are divided into seven groups. Here are the 2023 group winners.

Herding – Australian Shepherd (Ribbon)

Hound – Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (Buddy Holly)

Non-Sporting – French Bulldog (Winston)

Sporting – English Setter (Cider)

Terrier – American Staffordshire Terrier (Trouble)

Toy – Pekingese (Rummie)

Working – Giant Schnauzer (Monty)

Additional Competitions

While the competition for purebred dogs is still the main attraction at Westminster, it is not the only competition. The Master’s Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship have grown in popularity. One special draw of these competitions is both open to dogs of all backgrounds, not just purebred dogs. 

Agility Competition

This is the tenth year for the agility competition at Westminster. The 2023 Masters Agility Champion is a Border Collie, Truant.

Truant absolutely smoked the agility course with a time of 28.68 seconds, as you can see in the video below.

Obedience Competition

This was the eighth year of the obedience competition. The winner of the Masters Obedience Championship is a Golden Retriever, Baker. 

All told, nearly 3,000 dogs from the U.S. and worldwide participated in all the different parts of the Westminster Kennel Club Show. The show shines a bright light on the Club’s mission to enhance all dogs’ lives, celebrate dogs’ companionship, promote responsible dog ownership, and preserve dog breeds.

Westminster Kennel Club

Established in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club is the oldest organization dedicated to the sport of dogs in the United States. The club was named after a Manhattan hotel that was demolished long ago. It was in this hotel’s bar that sporting gentlemen used to gather to swap stories. These men formed a club and purchased a training area and a kennel.

The all-breed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the nation’s second-longest ever held sporting event, behind the Kentucky Derby. The first show hosted under the Club’s name was held at Gilmore’s Garden (the forerunner of Madison Square Garden) in New York City. Over 1,200 dogs entered that show.

Best in Show was first awarded at Westminster in 1907. A Smooth Fox Terrier named Warren Remedy won that first award, but she didn’t stop there. This champion also took Best In Show at the next two Westminster shows.

While multiple dogs have won the award twice, Warren Remedy remains the only dog to win Westminster’s crown jewel three times.

The Kennel Club Show has been televised since 1948, making it the oldest nationally televised dog show.

Painting of Warren Remedy, Fox Terrier. First best in show winner at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show, and the only dog to have won that prize on three occasions. Artist is Gustav Muss-Arnolt.

This painting by Gustav Muss-Arnolt depicts Warren Remedy, the only three-time ‘Best in Show’ winner at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.

©Gustav Muss-Arnolt / Public domain – License

The photo featured at the top of this post is © audrey_sel / CC BY-SA 2.0 – License / Original

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About the Author

Mike is a writer at A-Z Animals where his primary focus is on geography, agriculture, and marine life. A graduate of Cincinnati Christian University and a resident of Cincinnati, OH, Mike is deeply passionate about the natural world. In his free time, he, his wife, and their two sons love the outdoors, especially camping and exploring US National Parks.

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