Stevenson Oaks resident, Donna Moore was bursting with pride in early May when Buddy Holly or “Buddy,” a petit basset griffon Vendeen (PBGV) was named Best in Show under judge Ms. Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart at the 147th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Moore is co-owner of the champion along with Lizzie Cadmore, Cathy O’Neill, and Janice Hayes, who is also his handler.
Buddy is the first of his breed to ever win this title making history in the near century-and-a-half competition. Buddy was initially crowned the winner of the hound group which launched him into the Best in Show round against six other Best in Show finalists, to include Rummie the Pekingese, Ribbon the Australian Shepherd, Cider the English Setter, Winston the French Bulldog, Monty the Giant Schnauzer, and Trouble, the American Staffordshire. All in all, Buddy beat out 2,500 dogs across more than 200 breeds to win the 2023 title.
Following his big win, the pup and Hayes made a television appearance on Good Morning America where Hayes shared that she had dreamed of this day since she was nine years old and always knew that one day she would train a champion. Gail Miller Bisher, Director of Communications for the Westminster Kennel Club commented when asked what set him apart, “Well, you know, the seven dogs in Best in Show were all excellent examples of their breed. But, I think Buddy, of course, had these key features that are so important to the breed which are, a very balanced body, compact, he has the mustache, the long eyebrows, all these key features that are so important. And, of course, when he’s going around that ring, he has his tail up, a nice, tapered tail, in the saber position, and he has most importantly, the attitude and temperament. They are supposed to be extroverts, they are supposed to be confident, he clearly has that.”
Moore says that it was always her late husband, Donnie’s dream to win this title. When learning of the news, a group of fellow residents surprised Moore with a sign and balloons prompting her to say, “I’m so glad that I’m not at home by myself, now that I’m here, I have all my friends to celebrate with me.”