Two champion dogs from Beaufort and Jasper counties added to their trophy cases Monday by winning best of breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.
Jango, a Spanish Water dog from Ridgeland co-owned by Faith Ott and Janet Rahn, took best of breed honors at the dog show in New York on Monday morning. Maya, another Spanish Water Dog co-owned by the women and handled by Rahn, won in her open category as well.
GrandCru Gianconda — a greyhound from Bluffton owned by Melanie Steele — joined the Spanish Water dogs on the winner’s podium, taking best of breed honors and defending her title Monday afternoon.
Gia won best of breed at Westminster in 2015. Since then, the greyhound won 16 best in show awards during an impressive winning streak, Steele said last week.
Much like Gia, Jango went to Westminster with much fanfare, entering the competition as the top-ranked Spanish Water dog in the country. Ott and Rahn’s dog became the inaugural best of breed winner for Spanish Water dogs with his win Monday; 10 Spanish Water dogs were admitted to the prestigious dog show in 2016 after the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed last year.
Both dogs will compete in their respective breed groups — Jango in the herding group and Gia in the hound group — and will be shown Tuesday as part of the best in show competition to cap the event.
One other local dog will compete on Tuesday as well: Steele’s Lagotto Romagnolo Mack will challenge for best of breed at 1 p.m.