A new “star” has been born, American Kennel Club officials announced Monday.
The nation’s canine registry crowned the winner of its annual purebred dog competition – Star – a bulldog who took home the event’s top prize in the 22nd annual AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin.
Show name “GCHG CH Cherokee Legend Encore,” the bully won Best in Show and a $50,000 cash prize at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
The overall show totals, which include the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic, the AKC/Royal Canine National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes, AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, the AKC Fast CAT Invitational, the Junior-handler events and special attraction North America Diving Dogs Santa Splash, topped 9,395 entries.
There, they watched as Star won Best of Breed against about 30 bulldogs judged by Dr. Steven Keating.
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Owned by the Masons and Alaina Moulton and bred by Cody T. Sickle, Sherry Hazelett and Connie A. Chambers, Star won in the event’s Non-Sporting Group before moving on to the Best in Show round.
There, six other talented pooches joined Star: Bogart the Schnauzer, winner of the Working Group; Trumpet the Bloodhound, winner of the Hound Group; Josie the Spinone Italiano, winner of the Sporting Group; Stache the Sealyham Terrier, winner of the Terrier Group; Clark the Havanese, winner of the Toy Group; and Mercedes the German Shepherd, winner of the Herding Group.
Bogart was the runner-up this year, earning the dog the title Reserve Best in Show.
The show aired on ABC on Sunday, and the livestream of all the weekend events is available for replay at AKC.tv.
Star’s win in Orlando marked her 18th Best in Show, AKC reported.
“She is so beautiful, and just so correct as a bulldog,” said Judge Desmond Murphy, whose expertise in bully breeds is acknowledged worldwide.
Murphy, the AKC reported, was instrumental in creating the unique “BullyGanza” competition every year at the Santa Barbara Kennel Club.
This year, Star won it: a first for a bulldog.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.