A placid Pekingese trotted to victory on Tuesday at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, beating a Dalmatian, a German Shepherd, a Dachshund and three other canines to become the first of his breed to win the prestigious annual event since 1990.
Malachy, a four-year-old dog formally known as Ch. Palacegarden Malachy, charmed the packed Madison Square Garden arena crowd his way to his 115th best-in-show title. Over the two days, more than 2,000 dogs representing 185 breeds have competed.
Handler David Fitzpatrick said the little dog would now retire to the life of a house pet, saying "he won't be doing commercials, he's been working hard enough for the past two years."
Las Vegas odd makers had the Pekingese, at 6-to-1, as the favorite to win. Among the finalists, the Dalmatian was the long shot at 100-to-1.
Last year's winner, a Scottish deerhound named Hickory, was the first of its breed ever to win, defying the 60-to-1 odds against victory.
This year's Westminster dog show as also notable because six breeds competed for the first time this year -- the American English coonhound, the Cesky Terrier, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Finnish Lapphund, the Norwegian Lundehund and Mexico's hairless Xoloitzcuintli.
On Monday a Chow chow owned by lifestyle guru Martha Stewart won the best-of-breed competition, but failed to place during the non-sporting group judging, which was won by the Dalmatian.
(Editing by Patricia Reaney)