The lights go down, the crowd swells and seven group winners are announced into the arena one by one. The biggest crowd reaction is for Bean the Sussex Spaniel, who enters third and struts onto the Madison Square Garden floor to cascades of applause from the upper reaches of the arena. Burns the Longhaired Dachshund is right behind him, though.
Indeed, Colton the Schipperke is introduced seventh despite being ineligible for Best in Show (even though no one in the crowd has been made aware unless they’ve been checking the news on their phones). I guess they’re letting her trot.
Nearly 2,800 dogs from 203 breeds and varieties and 50 different states came to New York with a dream, but only one will come away with the title of Best in Show. The moment of truth is here as Green steps forward to inspect the septet.