Sussex Spaniel, 10, Is Top Dog at Westminster

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 10, 2009 9:40 PM CST
Handler Scott Sommer and his Sussex spaniel, Stump, pose for pictures after winning the top prize.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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(Newser) – An old Sussex spaniel taught dogdom a new trick. At 10, Stump became the oldest best-in-show winner ever at the Westminster Kennel Club tonight. A nearly full crowd at Madison Square Garden cheered loudly when judge Sari Tietjen pointed to the new champion. Perhaps the fans knew Stump's back story—he almost died in 2004 from a medical condition, saved by the vets at Texas A&M.

Or perhaps the people just liked rooting for the old guy. Never before had a Sussex spaniel won the nation's top pooch show. The previous oldest winner was 8. With floppy ears and a slow gait, the golden-red Stump beat out a sparkling field. Expert handler Scott Sommer guided him past a giant schnauzer that was ranked the nation's No. 1 show dog, a favored Brussels griffon, a Scottish deerhound named Tiger Woods, a standard poodle with 94 best-in-show wins, a Scottish terrier, and a puli.