A local Brussels Griffon has won Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for the second straight year.
Grand Champion Cashnross’ First Griff Tina Fey competed Monday at the nation’s oldest and most prestigious national dog show, which is held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
She beat out three other dogs for the best of breed title, which she also won last year.
The bitch’s brother, Walk the Line, won best of breed at Westminster in 2010. Tina Fey is owned by Felicia Cashin of San Luis Obispo and Carole Ross of San Juan Bautista, and she is handled by Jenny Wornall of Santa Ynez.
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“We are thrilled. It’s a very nice win,” Cashin said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Tina Fey stood out for her sound structure, beautiful top line, good head and ability to show herself.
About the sense of perfection the dogs need to win at the prestigious show, Cashin said: “It’s the image they project — some actresses have it, some don’t.”
The “feisty and happy” 4-year-old Tina Fey weighs just 9 pounds.
While Tina Fey did win best of breed, she did not win the toy group, which Cashin described as fiercely competitive. It is challenging for a Brussels griffon to capture the toy group, which is known for its elaborately groomed breeds such as poodles or Pekingese. “They don’t have all that curly hair; they are not quite as flashy,” Cashin said.
Tina Fey did recently win second place for the toy group at the AKC Eukanuba Championship in Florida in November.
Cashin and her husband own San Luis Obispo-based cinema sound equipment company USL Inc., and busy sales there kept her from attending Westminster this year.
But Cashin, who has shown dogs for 35 years, has seen the ring many times. She first showed two St. Bernards and a Lhasa apso before falling hard for the short-nosed Brussels griffon breed.
She is president of the national Brussels griffon rescue organization and has six of the breed in her home. Tina Fey, born in 2008, was one of a litter of three bitches that Cashin named after famous ladies that year — the others being Hillary and Michelle.
Tina Fey, who will likely show for another year before retiring, is living with her handler during this competitive time to keep her focused on the goal of winning. Owners don’t win money at dog shows, Cashin said, but they do it for fun and the honor of having a grand champion.