Stump the 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel wins Westminster

I am a Stump-loonie. When I saw that beautiful, shining, chestnut-brown coat, the little legs and the sad, intelligent face, I was lost. Stump is a lovely little 10-year-old Sussex spaniel, and he won! It was victory for Team Stump at Westminster!

Not to criticize, but the competition just wasn’t there. The Afghan hound? Ah, no. An ugly black poodle? You’re kidding me. Some dread-locked mop? Absolutely not. The only dogs I was worried about were the giant Schnauzer, who was charming, and the Scottish terrier. Alas, the Scottish terrier had to take a pee half-way through his Best In Show presentation. Haha!

Stump has a pretty inspirational story, too. Stump almost died five years ago, and had to be saved by a team of vets at Texas A&M University. People magazine has more details:

Stump, a Sussex spaniel who nearly died in 2004, won Best in Show at the 133rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on Tuesday night – the oldest dog ever to receive the title.

The crowd cheered when judge Sari Brewster Tietjen pointed to the 10-year-old dog, who beat out a Scottish deerhound, a Scottish terrier, a standard poodle, a puli, a Brussels griffon and a giant Schnauzer.

According to Westminster Kennel Club spokesman David Frei, a team of vets at Texas A&M University saved Stump five years ago. “His whole body completely quit, they did [some] miracle, because here he is now, looking great and just won Westminster,” said Stump’s co-owner, Scott Sommer.

Formally known as Ch Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee, Stump was selected from some 2,522 dogs from 48 states, the District of Columbia and at least seven foreign countries. Sommer told reporters that he officially decided to enter the dog in the show last Wednesday.

“He loves the crowd, he loves people, that’s what he does,” Sommer said.

The Sussex spaniel gets its name from the county in England where the breed originated. A member of the Sporting Group, the Sussex is generally cheerful and affectionate in nature – with a life expectancy of about 15 years, said Sommer, adding, “It would great if we got to 15 or 20.”

Established in 1877, the Westminster Dog Show is the second longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., just a year behind the Kentucky Derby, the club says. This year, the Dogue de Bordeaux, aka the French Mastiff, was eligible for competition for the first time and competed in the Working Group.

The dog show, which aired live on USA Network and CNBC, has been televised since 1948. Entries were down by about 100 dogs this year, which show organizers chalked up to the tough economy.


Last year’s Best In Show winner was a gorgeous little Beagle named Uno. Uno got endorsement deals, he got to tour the world and he got Beagles some respect in the dog-breeding world. Let’s hope Stump does the same, because this dog has absolutely stolen America’s heart. When I saw how crowded it was at Madison Square Garden, my only thought was, “My Lord, we are a nation of animal-lovers.” I also hope the new first family was watching – there were some lovely short-haired dogs that would make a nice addition to the White House.

Photo credit: WENN

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

19 Responses to “Stump the 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel wins Westminster”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Brenda says:

    Even the old DOGS get better with age in the 21st century!

  2. Rose says:

    What a cute older dog, I’ve got a sprightly 12.5 year old here too, older dogs rock.

  3. HEB says:

    I’m going to miss Uno!

    Is it just me or did no one really care about the results until they started picking ‘different’ winners, like a beagle and a 10 year old spaniel…maybe its just a cooincidence though.

  4. Maples says:

    Can someone explain to me how a dog that nearly dies at 5 years old is a good example of what the breed is trying to attain as perfection? Why should a 5 yo dog’s body “completely quit?” Maybe the show had more coverage of what happened to the dog, please inform me if anyone knows. With the information I currently have it seems that Stump should have been disqualified based on his medical history before even entering.

  5. Anon says:

    i liked the Puli better, much prettier

  6. Baholicious says:

    Maples, unfortunately that doesn’t matter because the breeds are entirely judged based on their conformation and how much they adhere to their breed’s standard.

    People doesn’t say why the dog’s system shut down; whether it ingested something or whether there was a genetic cause (like kidney issues with the breed maybe, I don’t know – anybody?) or what.

  7. daisy424 says:

    Senior dogs rock!
    Beautiful pup.

  8. vdantev says:

    Awwwww the big puppy……

  9. Tia says:

    CUTIE PIE !!!!!!!!

  10. bob prellwitz says:

    Who was the announcer who interviewed Scott Sommer Mary C ?

  11. kate says:

    i love dog shows, but i always laugh, thinking of christopher guest’s movie “best in show”. man i love that movie!

  12. caribassett says:

    I was rooting for the Scottie, he was adorable and cracked me up!

    Congrats to Stump may he stay healthy, and happy.

  13. Maritza says:

    I demand a recount! I’m pretty sure there were better looking dogs than this one!

  14. Codzilla says:

    He’s adorable. They all are. I’d be a terrible judge — one of those annoying “can’t they all win first prize?” types who people want to pelt with rocks.

  15. raven says:

    I always root for the terriers, but missed most of Westminster this year. This winner is very impressive at age 10. He must have excellent genes to show so well at his age.

  16. orion70 says:

    Dog shows are just plain weird…..but he is too cute. What a self-depricating name.

    Maples, pure breed dogs tend to have a lot more health problems that mixed breed “mutts”..I can see the 5 year old thing, but this almost sounds like he had some sort of emergency. Dunno.

    I have a 12 year old Lhasa Apso / Poodle / Terrier mix who, with a couple of manageable health problems, can still outrun a lot of dogs and out-walk me. I swear some days she’s on springs.

  17. Diva says:

    LMAO @ the puppy paparazzi


    I’m sorrrrrrry, lol

  18. DLR in Canada says:

    I’m not a spaniel fan. Oh well. There’s always next year!

  19. K in CT says:

    In response to the person asking what happened to Stump 4 years ago that caused his body to shut down, Stump caught a virus that infected his blood. He wasn’t getting better so the owners were advised to consider putting him down. The owners, still hoping for a miracle, made the decision to give their pup 24 more hours before making the call. To everyone’s amazement, 24 hours is all that Stump needed. The next morning, he made a surprising turn for the better. He recovered, and spent the next 4 years relaxing in retirement, under the loving care of his owners. What a lot of people don’t know is how much show dogs in general LOVED to be showed. When they see the carrying bag and the leash, they get SO excited. Last week, Stump’s owners noticed how great Stump looked. Last Wednesday, his owners made the decision to show him one final time.
    Of course, you already know the rest of this remarkable story. . .