Winning top honors in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show often comes down to subjective judging, and any of the seven finalists in Tuesday night’s competition final could have won.
“At that level, you can sort of close your eyes and point at anybody,” Westminster spokesman David Frei said Wednesday on TODAY. "They're all champions."
Ultimately, judges chose Sky, a 5-year-old wire fox terrier as Best In Show, beating out the other top dogs who were selected from nearly 3,000 competitors, representing 190 breeds.
Sky was ranked as the country’s top show dog last year, but will now retire following her Westminster victory.
“We decided to end her career in this prestigious dog show,” said her handler, Gabriel Rangel, who called Sky a “wonderful dog."
“She loves to be with people and she knows we love her,” he said.
“The winning dog has to own the ground we stand over and say, ‘It’s me,’ and have some charisma and personality, whatever you want to call it, but that was her,” Frei told Kathie Lee and Hoda.
Both Hoda and Kathie Lee noted that one of their all-time favorite movies is “Best in Show,” a satirical comedy that poked fun at dog owners, handlers and other interesting characters frequently seen in the Westminster competition.
“We love it, too. And we’re flattered to be the object of that kind of satire. Why not?” said Frei. “They didn’t make fun of the dogs. They didn’t make fun of the sport. They only made fun of the people, and we’re kind of a target-rich environment in that respect.”