Meet Trumpet, the Illinois bloodhound who just won big at the Westminster Dog Show

Frank Franklin II/AP
·2 min read

Who’s a good boy? Trumpet — and he has the accolades to prove it.

The 4.5-year-old bloodhound from St. Joseph, Illinois, has long floppy ears, a soft face and a lot of wrinkles.

And now he also has the highest U.S. dog show prize.

“I was shocked,” Heather Buehner, Trumpet’s handler who also goes by Heather Helmer, told the Associated Press.

This year, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show said it had more than 3,000 eager entrants. The dog show lasted three days as the finalists were narrowed down.

On Tuesday, June 21, Trumpet took first place in his category, the Hound Group, beating out 442 other dogs and moving one step closer to the final.

In the finals Wednesday night, the competition was “stiff,” the AP reported. Trumpet competed against an English setter, German shepherd, Lakeland terrier, Maltese and Samoyed.

And yet, Trumpet prevailed to become the first of his breed to win Best of Show, reported NBC Chicago.

“There were seven beautiful dogs in that ring,” Beuhner told The New York Times. “You know, I feel like sometimes a bloodhound might be a little bit of an underdog. So I was absolutely thrilled.”

When the AP asked Beuhner if Trumpet knew he was special, she replied, “I think he does.”

Trumpet is owned and bred by Chris and Bryan Flessner, Beuhner, and Tina Kocar, per a Westminster press release. He just began competing in dog shows in January, according to The New York Times. Still, winning runs through his veins.

Trumpet’s great-grandfather, Tigger, holds the record for the “longest ears on a dog ever,” according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Tigger, who was owned by Bryan and Christina Flessner, had a right ear measuring 13.75 inches and a left ear measuring 13.5 inches long.

Trumpet isn’t the first prize-winning pup from Illinois. Back in 2008, a beagle from Belleville won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The beagle, named Uno, was also the first of his breed to win the top award.

Uno became known as “America’s Dog” and even earned the distinction of being the first Westminster winner to visit the White House before passing away in September 2018 at 13 years old.

St. Joseph, Illinois, where Trumpet is from, is located about 100 miles from Springfield.

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