Meet 2024 Westminster best in show dog Sage – ABC News

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Sage, a miniature poodle, was crowned the best in show at the 148th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held Monday and Tuesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

The 3-year-old poodle was among thousands of dogs in the hound, toy, non-sporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier groups competing for the best in show honor. Before taking the top title, Sage was named the winner in the non-sporting group.

Sage, a miniature poodle, was named the 2024 best in show dog at the 148th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

ABC News

Sage is the fourth miniature poodle to have won the competition, according to Westminster Kennel Club records.

Westminster Kennel Club President Don Sturz told “Good Morning America” Wednesday this year’s competition was particularly strong.

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PHOTO: Sage, a Miniature Poodle from Houston, Texas, stands before winning the Best in Show group during the Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y., May 14, 2024.

Sage, a Miniature Poodle from Houston, Texas, stands before winning the Best in Show group during the Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y., May 14, 2024.

Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

“There are 2,500 champions competing and it starts at the breed level and then up into the groups, where we had all of the top 10 dogs in the group in the national rankings actually showed at Westminster this year, so the competition was steep,” Sturz said. “When you got into the finals, for a tennis reference, that final lineup was like watching [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer play. That was the level of competition in that ring, really. It was intense.”

But Sturz added that Sage, in particular, stood out from the pack.

PHOTO: Sage, a Miniature Poodle from Houston, Texas, wins the Best in Show group during the Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y., on May 14, 2024.

Sage, a Miniature Poodle from Houston, Texas, wins the Best in Show group during the Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y., on May 14, 2024.

Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

“It comes down to, I think, which great dog is having a great night and Sage was perfection in every moment last night,” Sturz said.

Kaz Hosaka, Sage’s handler, told “GMA” Sage will now retire from competition after the 148th Westminster Dog Show, which also will be his last after 45 years as a dog handler.

To celebrate her win, Sage was treated on “GMA” to special chicken and melon plates, two of her favorite treats, according to Hosaka.

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A 4-year-old German shepherd named Mercedes was given the 2024 reserve best in show winner at Westminster — essentially the runner-up.

A poodle was last named best in show in 2020 with the title going to Siba, a standard poodle. The last time a miniature poodle took the top prize was in 2002 with the crowning of Spice Girl. Last year’s Westminster winner, Buddy Holly, was the first petit basset griffon Vendeen to be named best in show.

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