2019 AKC National Championship results

Photo: AKC National Championship.. Image Courtesy Nick King
Photo: AKC National Championship.. Image Courtesy Nick King /

Who claimed the top honors at the 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin?

The 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin was held December 14-15 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, with more than five thousand dogs competing for the ultimate alpha dog position of the year with the winner getting the biggest prize in dog sports.

For more on how dog shows work, see here, and click here for more information from the professionals on other things to know.)

The 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin was broadcast on Animal Planet on January 1, with Carolyn Manno, Gina DiNardo and Bill Ellis calling the action.

In the Non-Sporting Group, judged by David Kirkland, a Poodle called Stevia defeated all others. Colton the Schipperke was the runner-up in a shortlist that also included National Dog Show winner Thor the Bulldog. The Dalmatian won the third-place white ribbon and the Tibetan Terrier won the fourth-place yellow ribbon.

In the Hound Group, judged by Guy Jeavons, a Rhodesian Ridgeback called Penny claimed the win,followed by the Borzoi, the Greyhound and a new breed called the Azawakh.

The Toy group was judged by Ed Embry Bivin, and this was a packed class. But ultimately a Pekingese called Wasabi won top honors over Bono the Havanese, Biggie the Pug and a Toy Poodle.

The Sporting Group saw many fan-favorite breeds judged by Carl Lehman, and Andy the Golden Retriever won over everyone else, followed  by a Vizsla, Charlie the Cocker Spaniel, and Sherman the Irish Setter.

The Terrier Group was judged by Roz Kramer, and Dazzle the Welsh Terrier captured the ribbon over a colored Bull Terrier, a Miniature Schnauzer and a Wire Fox Terrier. The shortlist also included Isaac the Norwich Terrier, this group’s defending winner.

The Herding Group was judged by James Moses, who awarded the Bouvier the yellow ribbon, the Pyreneean Shepherd the white, the Shetland Sheepdog the red and Sophie the Old English Sheepdog the blue.

The Working Group was judged by Pamela Bruce, who awarded the Rottweiler fourth place, Wilma the Boxer third, the Samoyed second, and first place went to Ty the Giant Schnauzer, who came out of retirement for this specific show. An unusual overtime-like procedure known as a “free stack” was the deciding factor in determining the winners from the shortlist.

Finally, the 2019 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin came down to the Best in Show judging, with Dorothy Collier doing the judging. Judge Collier awarded the Reserve Best in Show prize to Stevia the Poodle, while Best in Show went to Wasabi the Peke.

Wasabi not only won a fancy trophy, but also $50,000 in prize money and a year’s supply of Royal Canin dog food.

“He’s a beautiful example of his breed, it was my pleasure to judge,” Collier stated after the show to broadcaster Mary Carillo.

“This is a great show, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and I’m proud to have my dogs compete,” Wasabi’s breeder/owner/handler David Fitzpatrick stated afterwards.

In the Best Bred by Exhibitor in Show, a special category for breeder/owner/handlers, Ed Thomason and Pancho the American Staffordshire Terrier won $15,000 from Royal Canin.

In the Best in Show of the National Owner-Handled Series, which is sort of an amateur division for hobbyists, Reese’s the Clumber Spaniel was awarded Reserve Best in Show and Best in Show went to a Saluki called Ponzi.

Next. Royal Canin's Kamie Eckert on AKC partnership. dark

Congratulations to everyone who competed and won awards, and we’ll provide updates on the major dog shows as the 2020 season gets underway soon.