Flynn The Bichon Wins Best In Show

Feb 14, 2018
Originally published on February 14, 2018 9:16 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

OK. If you're a fan of high-stakes competition, last night was a big deal for you. I'm talking about the pinnacle of elite competitors trying to take home the big prize. But when the bar is set so high, how can a winner be chosen? Betty-Anne Stenmark is the judge who had to choose last night's winner, and she wants you to know that she is unbiased.

(SOUNDBITE OF 142ND ANNUAL WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW TELECAST)

BETTY-ANNE STENMARK: I love all dogs...

(CHEERING)

STENMARK: ...Both purebreds and crossbreds alike. But this is a special celebration of purebred dogs, the best of the best...

(APPLAUSE)

STENMARK: ...Purposely bred by responsible dog breeders.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's right. We weren't actually talking about the Olympics there.

MARTIN: No.

INSKEEP: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Stenmark was choosing and announcing best in show for the Westminster Dog Show.

(SOUNDBITE OF 142ND ANNUAL WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW TELECAST)

STENMARK: Best in show at the 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club will be the bichon frise...

(CHEERING)

STENMARK: ...Flynn.

INSKEEP: Flynn. Flynn is the dog's name. A white, fluffy bichon frise won the honor. He was the second bichon frise - am I just enjoying that...

MARTIN: Keep saying it, yes.

INSKEEP: ...A little too much? Yes. - to ever win the award. (Laughter) He trotted up to the podium with his owner like a fluffy marshmallow and knew, of course, exactly where to go.

MARTIN: Flynn won in his category for best non-sporting dog. And going into best in show, he faced a ton of competition. He beat out six other competitors, including Ty, a giant schnauzer who came in second; Biggie the pug; Slick, a bouncy border collie; and Bean, a Sussex spaniel. Flynn's handler, Bill McFadden, told Fox Sports he didn't expect that they would win the top prize.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BILL MCFADDEN: I came in expecting nothing except hoping for a good performance, and I think I got it.

INSKEEP: Flynn, by the way, who's described as a very good boy, will be turning 6 in March. And after winning this honor, he can probably quit his day job.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MCFADDEN: I'll have to ask the owners, but I am pretty sure I can drop the mic and say he's retired.

INSKEEP: Who knew that a dog could...

MARTIN: (Laughter) Dropping the mic.

INSKEEP: ...Drop the mic?

MARTIN: Dropping the mic.

INSKEEP: I like best non-sporting dog, the negative side of that.

MARTIN: Right.

INSKEEP: I'll bet there are many people listening who think - hey, my dog is a non-sporting dog.

MARTIN: Keep your day job.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ATOMIC DOG")

GEORGE CLINTON: (Singing) Atomic dog, atomic dog - life on all fours when they're out there walking the streets - may compete... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.