Westminster Kennel Club
Buddy Holly the PBGV crowned Best in Show at 2023 Westminster Dog Show
Westminster Kennel Club

Buddy Holly the PBGV crowned Best in Show at 2023 Westminster Dog Show

Updated May. 11, 2023 12:55 p.m. ET

The 2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has crowned a new champion! Buddy Holly the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or PBGV, of the Hound Group is this year's Best in Show, a first for this rare rabbit-hunting breed.

Westminster, also known as "America's Dog Show," is the second-longest running sporting event in American history behind the Kentucky Derby, and this year's event, which returned for the 147th time, spanned across four days.

Hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club, the beloved spectacle brought together thousands of distinguished dogs, which were separated into seven categories — Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding, Sporting, Working and Terrier — for judging. 


The top dog in each respective group was selected to advance to compete for the highly coveted title of Best in Show. They were: Buddy Holly the PBGV (Hound Group), Rummie the Pekingese (Toy Group), Winston the French Bulldog (Non-Sporting Group), Ribbon the Australian Shepherd (Herding Group), Cider the English Setter (Sporting Group), Monty the Giant Schnauzer (Working Group) and Trouble the American Staffordshire Terrier (Terrier Group). 

This year's Best in Show made history, as the field featured five breeds that had never previously won.

Here are the highlights!

2023 Best in Show

Buddy Holly was part of the very first group, the hounds, to show at Westminster on Monday. With the Best in Show win, the PBGV — and handler and co-owner Janice Hayes — secured both the first and last win of the 2023 competition.

"He just screams PBGV," Hayes said. "They're just very independent but very charming and just silly. Their goal is to make you laugh every day."

Buddy Holly, hailing from Palm Springs, California, beat out 402 other dogs and 34 other breeds in the Hound Group en route to the purple ribbon and capturing the most prestigious dog show award in the United States.

Originally from France, the small hounds' name means "low-lying, wire-haired dog from the Vendée region." Buddy Holly has also lived and competed in his native United Kingdom and in Ireland and Australia.

PBGVs are the 154th most prevalent purebreds in the country, according to a recent ranking from the American Kennel Club, which first recognized the breed in 1991. Prior to Tuesday, PBGVs had never won Best in Show before but had one Hound Group win from 2007. 

"I never thought PBGV would do this," Hayes said. "Buddy Holly is the epitome of the dog show."

2023 Reserve Best in Show

Rummie the Pekingese was awarded this year's Best in Show reserve (or runner-up) title.

Here's what the sports world had to say about the 2023 WKC Dog Show!

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