Sage the Miniature Poodle Wins Best in Show at the 2024 Westminster Dog Show

148th annual westminster kennel club dog show best in show
Sage the Miniature Poodle Wins Best in ShowMichael Loccisano - Getty Images

Sage, a three year old miniature poodle, took home the Best in Show trophy at the 2024 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last night.

Sage, whose full name is GCHG Ch Surrey Sage, triumphed over a field that included Mercedes, a German Shepherd (who came in second place); Louis, an Afghan hound; Micah, a cocker spaniel; Comet, a Shih Tzu; Frankie, a colored bull terrier; and Monty, a Giant Schnauzer.

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Sage, a Miniature Poodle from Houston, Texas, in the show ring.KENA BETANCUR - Getty Images

Sage's handler, Kaz Hosaka, was competing in his 45th Westminster Dog Show, and said last night that it would be his final turn. "I was not expecting anything," Hosaka said after the victory. "She did it for me today."

Hosaka has won Best in Show once before, in 2002, with Sage's great-grandmother, Spice. In an interview back in 2009 with the New York Times said, "The more I do this breed, the more I really like it. Poodles are an art form, you know."Hosaka "is to the poodle world what Michael Jordan is to basketball. Smooth, clever, elegant and nearly unbeatable," a profile of him in Edge Magazine stated.

148th annual westminster kennel club dog show best in show
Hosaka and Sage, Best in Show winner.Michael Loccisano - Getty Images

When judging best in show, Westminster president Don Sturz explained to T&C, "judges are looking for the dog that most closely meets their breed standard." But, he added, "At an event like this, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show, the seven group winners are going to meet their breed standards and then some. It's going to be splitting hairs. At the end of the day, it's about the dog. It's a great dog having a great evening. It's just their moment. There's something about how they carry themselves. There's something about how they connect with their handler, how they connect with the judge, how they handle the crowd and the lights. That piece comes into play to a much greater extent at an event like [Westminster], at that level of the competition because you're splitting hairs between excellence."

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