RACINE — The tiniest dog won the biggest prize Sunday at the Racine Kennel Club’s All Breeds Dog Show.
Miniature pinscher Marlex Classic Red Glare took home the day’s Best in Show award — the small dog’s 96th such win, according to handler Armando Angelbello.
Angelbello was one of several national competitors who brought dogs accustomed to competing at the Westminster Dog Show to Racine’s Pershing Park on Sunday afternoon.
Another was Chris Manelopoulos of North Carolina, whose Afghan hound also competed for the top prize.
Like Angelbello, Racine’s competition is one of several stops across the country for Manelopoulos and Tells Matrix Reloaded, his black, long-haired hound.
Running a silver-colored comb through Matrix’s fur before the final round, Manelopoulos said he’s been to Westminster 15 times, and has been competing in shows since 1986.
His favorite part? “Just working with the dog, and working as a team,” Manelopoulos said. “They respond to you.”
Although the number of entries at the All Breeds Show was slightly down this year, show Chairperson Kevin Carlson said the show “went great.”
“For us, it was a successful event,” said Carlson, who’s chaired Racine’s competition for more than a decade.
According to Carlson, about 750 people signed up for the show, with dogs from more than 25 states.
Although, as usual, many handlers came from elsewhere in the country, locals made a strong showing, too, Carlson said.
One of the youngest was 8-year-old Maren LaPlante, a soon-to-be third grader from
There with her mom, Christy, Maren LaPlante showed off a blue ribbon for showmanship and her winning dog, a Chinese crested “hairy hairless” whose show name is I Have a Crush On You.
Although top competitors like Manelopoulos have been doing the shows for decades, LaPlante has only just begun.
“I started at a fun match, and then I just loved it and I started doing it in real shows,” said LaPlante, who hopes to keep competing in shows to come.
Racine’s event continues today, running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pershing Park.
If You Go
WHAT: Greater Racine Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show
WHEN: Today, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
WHERE: Pershing Park, 800 Pershing Park Drive