Stump the Sussex Spaniel took the big “Best of Show” award at the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. The mellow spaniel made history in two ways when he won the top prize.
Stump, at ten years old, was the oldest dog ever to win the top prize at Westminster. The previous record was held by an eight year old dog.
Stump was also the first Sussex Spaniel to win the prestigious dog show.
Last year’s Westminster winner was Uno the Beagle, who also made history as the first ever Beagle to win the top award at the show.
It was delightful to see the Spaniel win, although I honestly would have been happy for any of the beautiful dogs in the ring. It was especially inspiring to see an older guy take the top prize.
Stump stood out among the finalists with his easy gait and his silken, shining golden coat. Stump seemed a confident guy, in an easygoing, pleasant way.
When his name was announced and the crowd gathered around Stump he sat up on his hind legs and gazed sweetly up at his handler.
Like many older guys, Stump has lived through some adversity. Stump took Best of the Sporting Group at Westminster in 2004, but did not win Best of Show. During that same year he came down with a bacterial infection that took 19 days to diagnose.
The Sussex Spaniel was one of the first breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club Stud Book, according the AKC website. The AKC was formed in 1884. The Sussex Spaniel was a breed far longer than that. Sussex Spaniels are a rare dog breed that has been threatened with extinction a couple of times.
The Sussex Spaniel was named after the region it originated from in Sussex, England. During the 1800’s the spaniel was a field dog that ran around the grand estates in the English countryside on the strong, short legs.
The Sussex Spaniel is one of the dogs in the Sporting Group. The breed has a strong, low slung body on short, sturdy legs. The sporting dog was suited for crashing through the dense growth of low growing shrubbery to flush game out of the brush and into range of hunter’s guns.
The Sussex Spaniel ranges in height from 13 to 15 inches at the withers and weights between 35 and 45 pounds. The body has a rectangular look that is longer than it is tall.
The Sussex Spaniel long coat in a rich, golden color.
The breed is friendly and has a cheerful disposition, in spite of its somber expression.
Congratulations to Stump the Sussex Spaniel!
American Kennel Club
Guide to Sporting Dogs
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Groups of Dog Breeds