Whippet Named ‘Whiskey’ Takes Best in Show at 17th Annual National Dog Show


Combining elegance and athleticism, Multi-BIS/Multi-BISS GCH Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey, a flashy 3-year-old fawn-and-white male Whippet handled by his breeder and owner Justin Smithey of Sugar Valley, Georgia, sprinted to the front of the Best in Show lineup to win the 17th annual “National Dog Show Presented by Purina.”

The No. 1 Hound in the country in 2018 and the No. 1 Whippet for two straight years, “Whiskey” depicted speed, power and balance, befitting qualities for the sighthound breed. After winning, Smithey, who has bred and showed Whippets for nearly 20 years, proudly said, “Whiskey is an outstanding example of the breed. He has a fabulous, loving personality. He’s not just a show dog, he’s also our companion and pet.”

Purina Pro Plan-fed dogs, including Whiskey who is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula, swept Group First honors at the dog show that is televised on NBC on Thanksgiving Day. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the National Dog Show features celebrity co-hosts David Frei and John O’Hurley who team up on the broadcast that reaches over 20 million viewers. Nearly 2,000 dogs, representing more than 175 breeds, were entered in this year’s show.  

Best in Show judge Geir Flyckt-Pedersen of Sarasota, Florida, said he had seven fantastic dogs to consider and ultimately chose the Whippet because he was impressed with the dog’s soundness. “This dog’s breed type was outstanding, and his coming and going was sound, yet he moved naturally,” he said.  

Whiskey is owned by Smithey and his wife, Cheslie Pickett Smithey, and Dr. Kenneth Latimer of Toano, Virginia. Yvonne Sovereign of Sowagla Whippets in Sanford, North Carolina, is the co-breeder.

The Pinnacle Whippet breeding program of the Smitheys has earned top-winning success with Whiskey and his littermate sister, Multi-BISS CH Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon. Although Whiskey has been their top campaigned dog over the past two years, “Bourbon,” shown sparingly, has won 10 specialty shows and topped Whiskey a couple of times.

The pair made breed history this year as the first littermates to win Best of Breed at the American Whippet Club (AWC) National Specialty. Bourbon won the 2018 AWC National, where Whiskey took First Award of Merit, and Whiskey took top honors at the 2017 AWC National. In October, Bourbon won Best in Show at the Atlanta Kennel Club Dog Show, her first, while Whiskey took Best of Opposite Sex in the breed ring.

Whiskey won his 20th Best in Show at the National Dog Show and has won five Bests in Specialty Show. At the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, Whiskey won Best of Breed, and then placed fourth in the Hound Group.

Whiskey is the eighth consecutive Best in Show winner of the National Dog Show to be fed Purina Pro Plan. The other Purina Pro Plan-fed Group First winners are:

  • Reserve Best in Show and Working Group First: GCH Macaco’s Riande’s Irupé, a 5-year-old red female Doberman Pinscher, handled by Carissa DeMilta-Shimpeno of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. “Irupé” was bred by Hector Farias, Alicia Farias and Esteban Farias, and is owned by Nancy Bosley. She is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula.
  • Terrier Group First: GCH Kingarthur Van Foliny Home, a 7 1/2-year-old tricolor male Wire Fox Terrier, handled by Gabriel Rangel of Rialto, California. “King” was bred by Rony and Dieny de Munter-Uiterwijk of Dendermonde, Belgium, and is owned by Victor Malzoni Jr. He is fed Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula.
  • Sporting Group First: GCH Poisett’s Doctor Mallard, an 8 ½-year-old brown male Chesapeake Bay Retriever, handled by breeder-owner Annie Henshaw of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Pauline Henshaw is the co-breeder and co-owner. “Duckie” is fed Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Salmon & Rice Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula.
  • Non-Sporting Group First: GCH Xeralane’s Bite Me, a 3 ½-year-old golden male Lhasa Apso, handled by Adrian Agard of Miliani, Hawaii. Bred by Xeralane Kennel, “Billy” is co-owned by Bonnie Prato, Carol Agard, M. Wolverton, Clive Harold, and N. Onda. He is fed Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Salmon & Rice Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula.
  • Toy Group First: GCH Blackdales Play It Again Sam, a 2-year-old red male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, handled by Evan Threfall of Perry, New Hampshire. “Bogie” is owned by his breeders, Karen K. Chandor and Cheryl M. Black. He is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Grain Free Performance 30/20 Chicken & Egg Formula.
  • Herding Group First: GCH Foxwood Lionhart’s Quintessence, a 3-year-old red female Pembroke Welsh Corgi, handled by Kara Janiszak of Nashville, Illinois. “Bella” was bred by owners Daniel Hartman and Debbie Royster, and Judy Manley is a co-owner. The Corgi is fed Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula.

Congratulations to the 2018 National Dog Show winners!