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Puli "Conrad" wins Westminster's herding group

February 10, 2009 |  2:02 pm

A puli named Field Of Dreams won the Herding Group at the 133rd Westminster 
Kennel Club dog show

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.

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Seth Wenig /Associated Press

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