2023 Westminster Dog Show: Agility championship, dock diving top moments

The 2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is in full swing! Hosted by the American Kennel Club, the beloved spectacle brings together thousands of dogs to compete in a number of judged events, including agility and obedience contests.

Westminster, also known as “America’s Dog Show,” kicked things off at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York on Saturday with the 10th Annual Masters Agility Championship, which aired Sunday on FOX.

In the end, it was Truant the Border Collie who took home the title of 2023 Masters Agility Champion!

Dogs participated in two rounds of agility preliminaries Friday before the field was narrowed down to 50 finalists — the top 10 finishers from five respective height classes — who competed Saturday for the title. Dogs ranging from a tiny Papillon to a massive Rhodesian Ridgeback competed in this year’s finals. Border Collies were once again the top-represented breed in the competition with five finalists across two different height classes. 

The competition is unique, as both purebred and All-American (mixed breed) dogs are eligible to compete each year. They are judged on time and completion (minus faults) of the course, which is revamped each year to ensure no advantages for repeat competitors; Handlers and their dogs get their first look at the course roughly 45 minutes before the event begins.

Here are the top moments!

16″ Class – dogs over 14″ and up to 18″ at the shoulder

Kicking off the competition was Fiction the Miniature American Shepherd, who set the tone for the competition with a dazzling time of 31.18 seconds.

Rigby the Poodle, the sixth dog to run in this class, gave an impressive performance but was just shy of Fiction’s time.

Then, Trinity the Border Collie took the top spot with a time of 30.39 seconds, but her time in the lead was short-lived.

Last but not least, reigning champion Bee the Shetland Sheepdog took to the course, where she stunned the competition with a lightning-fast time of 28.27 seconds without a single fault to win the 16″ Class. This run was even faster than the winning time of 29.81 seconds that secured her the title of 2022 WKC Masters Agility Champion at last year’s event.

Bee wins the 16″ Class | 2023 WKC Masters Agility Championship

Bee wins the 16

Check out Bee the Shetland Sheepdog’s impressive performance, which won the 16″ Class at the Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Championship.

8″ Class – dogs up to 11″ at the shoulder

Next up were the little dogs, and Rowan the Shetland Sheepdog topped the leaderboard at 33.35 seconds.

Then, Purchase the Papillon flew through the course in 32.01 seconds and without any faults to claim the victory in the 8″ Class as a rookie!

Purchase wins the 8″ Class | 2023 WKC Masters Agility Championship

Purchase wins the 8

Check out Purchase the Papillon’s dazzling performance, which won the 8″ Class at the Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Championship.

24″ Class – dogs over 22″ at the shoulder

The big dogs were up next, and Kaboom the Border Collie took the top spot early with a 34.17-second performance.

However, it was Howie the Border Collie that secured the win after a stellar run that brought spectators to their feet!

Howie wins the 24″ Class | 2023 WKC Masters Agility Championship

Howie wins the 24

Check out Howie the Border Collie’s WILD performance, which won the 24″ Class at the Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Championship.

12″ Class – dogs over 11″ and up to 14″ at the shoulder

Phoebe the Lakeland Terrier made a statement with her 33.72-second run in the second-smallest class.

It was Swindle the Shetland Sheepdog, however, with the best run at 28.39 seconds and zero faults, who secured the win.

Swindle wins the 12″ Class | 2023 WKC Masters Agility Championship

Swindle wins the 12

Swindle the Shetland Sheepdog turned on the motors to win the 12″ Class at the Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Championship.

20″ Class – dogs over 18″ and up to 22″ at the shoulder

Last but not least, it was Truant the Border Collie who won the 20″ Class with a speedy time of 28.68 seconds.

Also in the 20″ Class was Score, who was crowned this year’s All-American winner.

The 8th Annual Masters Obedience Championship — a command-driven competition open to both Purebred and All-American dogs that tests a dog’s ability to comply with commands of their handler, which can include a combination of sit, stay, jump, retrieve and scent discrimination — also took place Saturday.

After a long day of tough competition, Baker the Golden Retriever took home this year’s championship title!

Day 1’s competition concluded Saturday with Dock Diving, a sport in which dogs run the length of a dock and leap as far out into the water as possible to catch their favorite toy. The fan-friendly South Plaza was set up with a 27,000-gallon pool for the inaugural event. The three dogs with the best jumps who came out on top were:

Premier Open Winner: Vern the Labrador Retriever (24 feet, 9 inches)
Elite Open Winner: Loki the Belgian Malinois (25 feet, 6 inches)
Senior Lap Winner: Tink the Cairn Terrier (12 feet, 9 inches)

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