Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Something to Bark About: Canadian-Trained Dog Wins Big Prize in New York: Canadian-Trained Dog Wins Big in New York

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Something to Bark About: Canadian-Trained Dog Wins Big Prize in New York: Canadian-Trained Dog Wins Big in New York

Article excerpt

TORONTO - In the dog show world, it's a prize worth barking about.

A canine trained in Canada beat out an American champ at what's called the Stanley Cup of dog shows and is already setting his sights on his next big win.

Ace, a sleek black cocker spaniel, surprised spectators when he took the "best in variety" title at the Westminister Kennel Club Show in New York City on Tuesday, triumphing over a competitor who was crowned the event's top dog last year.

Now, his Canadian handler is hoping the big prize will spur him on to break the record for the most "best-in-show" awards in his breed this year -- he's won 21 such titles so far and the current record sits at 29.

"That's my personal goal for Ace this year," his handler Marlene Ness told The Canadian Press.

The two-year-old dog's most recent title is a significant one.

It was Ace's first time at the prestigious event held at New York's Madison Square Garden and his title pulled the rug out from under those who expected a competitor -- another black cocker spaniel named Beckham -- to win hands down.

"It's definitely the top of the list for accomplishments for Ace," said Ness, a Brantford, Ont., resident who handles Ace for his American owners.

"I didn't go there expecting to win. I just thought if I could go there and if Ace could perform well and he could make everybody happy ... we would be thrilled with that."

The awarding of the title itself was preceded by some tense moments.

Crowd favourite Beckham initially drew all the cheers, but fans sensing an upset later began yelling for Ace as a judge studied both dogs intently before making his choice. …

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