German shorthaired pointer is top U.S. dog

5-year-old female wins best in Westminster show

February 16, 2005|By COX NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK - A sleek and steady German shorthaired pointer named Carlee was named best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last night, defeating an impressive field of competitors to become the nation's top dog.

It was the second consecutive win for handler Michelle Ostermiller, who also handled Josh, a 155-pound barking Newfoundland who took last year's prize.

"It was amazing," Ostermiller said. "She just did everything exactly the way she was supposed to. It was her last show. I think she knew it."

The 5-year-old Carlee, whose official name is Champion Kan-Point's VJK Autumn Roses, impressed judge Lynette Saltzman, standing rock-still for inspection before a sold-out crowd of nearly 20,000 fans, owners and handlers at Madison Square Garden.

Carlee, a gray spotted dog with a brown face, is the second of her breed to win top honors at the Westminster show, the oldest continuously run sporting event in the United States after the Kentucky Derby. Carlee is a direct descendant of the other winner in 1974.

"Nobody lost this best in show," said Westminster spokesman David Frei. "Carlee won it."

Carlee's competitors in the field of seven finalists included Jeffrey, a Pekingese, and Co-Co, a Norfolk terrier who returned for one last show after taking six months' maternity leave to have three puppies - Tom, Dick and Harry.

The other finalists were a bloodhound, a Great Pyrenees, a Tibetan terrier and a border collie.

Carlee is owned by Linda and Richard Stark of Castle Rock, Colo.

This year's 129th annual show welcomed 2,581 entries in 165 breeds and varieties.

Three new breeds were judged for the first time this year: the black Russian terrier, the Glen of Imaal terrier, and the Neapolitan mastiff, which grabbed attention with its floppy face covered with convoluted folds of skin.

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