Winston won his group for the second year in a row. Can he bring home his breed's first-ever Best in Show?
french bulldog Winston is judged at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Credit: Sarah Stier / Getty Images

Winston the French bulldog is back in the Best in Show ring at Westminster, his team no doubt hoping he captures the trophy that barely eluded him last year. 

The Frenchie won the Non-Sporting Group for the second consecutive year Monday at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In 2022, Winston, whose full registered name is GCHP CH Fox Canyon's I Won The War At Goldshield CGCA CGCU TKN, took home Reserve Best in Show, the second-place award.

He was one of four group winners Monday night at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y. Each will have a one-in-seven chance to win Best in Show on Tuesday night.

In the Hound Group, Buddy (CH Soletrader Buddy Holly), a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, earned the first spot in the final ring. Pekingese Rummie (GCH CH Pequest Rum Dum) then won the Toy Group. Australian shepherd Ribbon (GCHP CH Northbay Xsell That's A Wrap) captured the evening's final victory, winning the Herding Group. 

Ever-enthusiastic Winston punctuated his final trip around the ring Monday by jumping into a topless box to laughter from the crowd. 

"Shows his athleticism, right?" his handler, Perry Payson, joked to the crowd afterward. 

Though a French bulldog has rather famously never won Best in Show, Winston has momentum on his side. His victory came five months after winning Best in Show at the National Dog Show, and 2023 is the third-straight year a Frenchie has won the Non-Sporting Group. 

His place in the Best in Show ring came at the expense of Star, the highly ranked bulldog who won the AKC National Championship in December, along with the rest of the group. 

While the French bulldog is the newly minted most popular dog breed, you may not have heard of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, the small French hound who's the country's 154th most-popular breed. And while he's a member of a rare breed, Buddy Holly bested the rest of the Hound Group. 

Rummie could become the sixth Pekingese to win Westminster, the first since Wasabi in 2021. The similarities don't stop there: David Fitzpatrick is the owner and handler of both dogs. 

"He performed great," he said Monday. "He moved so beautiful, true to Pekingnese type."  

Then there's Ribbon, the top-ranked Aussie who's looking to become the first-ever of her breed to win the big prize. (So is Buddy, to be fair.)

Those four were a fraction of the hundreds of dogs who competed across the four groups Monday, showing on turf placed over the tennis courts that feature the world's best players each summer at the U.S. Open. Spectators watched the group judging from the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

Judging for the Sporting, Terrier, and Working groups is scheduled for Tuesday evening. More than 2,500 are expected to compete in the two-day-long conformation show.  

Is it Winston's to lose? Probably not. Buddy Holly, Rummie, and Ribbon have the exact same chance of winning, and Best in Show judges have historically favored the Working, Sporting, and Terrier groups

Guess you'll have to tune in