Puli "Conrad" wins Westminster's herding group
Last night was one of the biggest of the year for dog fanciers, who turned out (albeit in fewer numbers than last year, a fact attributed by show organizers to the nation's economic troubles) at Madison Square Garden to see the coveted Westminster Group placements awarded.
A group win, of course, is a "golden ticket" to tonight's best in show competition -- Monday yielded winners for the herding, terrier, non-sporting and hound groups. (Favored to win best in show by many Westminster experts are an Affenpinscher named Taser and a Brussels griffon named Lincoln -- who, assuming each wins their respective breed class, will go head to head in the toy group tonight.)
Ch. Cordmaker Field of Dreams, a 4-year-old male Puli owned by Susan Huebner and Jackie Beaudoin and handled by Linda Pitts, won the herding group. He's called Conrad for short.
Pulik (the plural form of Puli, a Hungarian breed), along with their larger cousins, Komondorok, are known for their corded coats. Since it takes a long time for Conrad's to dry, he won't receive a bath before tonight's best in show competition, Pitts told the Associated Press, saying that instead she'll tie his cords up "like a Christmas tree" to prevent them from getting dirty before his big moment.
Rounding out the top four were a bouvier des Flandres named Ch. Voodoo Slam Dunks Susants, a rough collie named Ch. Sylvan Argent Simply Irresistible, and an Old English sheepdog named Ch. Lambluv's Daydream Believer.
Photo: Seth Wenig /Associated Press