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Local Pooch Takes Best Of Breed At Westminster Show
Dog Show
Stitch, a 7-year-old Standard Manchester Terrier, shown with his handler, Trina Taylor-Ghione of Oakdale, won Best of Breed at the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York. Stitch is owned by Corie and Danny Thorsland of Sonora. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED


True to his breed, “Stitch,” is a lively spirited 7-year-old Standard Manchester Terrier that has game he loves to show.

So it was probably fitting that at the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club dog show on a frigid day on Monday, Feb. 16 that Stitch showed his game to take Best of Breed in the Terrier group by judges at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

Officially, he's GCh — that’s for “grand champion” in dog show vernacular — Toria a New Leash on Life and the nation’s top Manchester terrier, owned by Corie and Danny Thorsland of Sonora, was shown by Trina Taylor-Ghione of Oakdale.

“It’s a wonderful feeling all of its own,” Taylor-Ghione said on winning Best of Breed. “The best dogs of the country go here. It (Westminster) is the show of shows as dog shows go.”

Taylor-Ghione, who has been showing dogs for over 10 years, owns Noble Kennels on Sierra Avenue with her husband Adrian Ghione, who also shows Portuguese water dogs. The couple was married last June and is currently on a five-week tour with 15 dogs as they make their way back home during the show circuit heading to the next big one in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Though Stitch’s look suggests a miniature Doberman Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier is his own canine. The breed is a wee dog with a strong bark, loyal, hearty, and a terrific watchdog who adores hanging out with his people. Among terriers, the Manchester is known to be one of the more well-mannered and responsive breeds and today spends his time as a terrific companion who can hold up his end of the conversation.

Taylor-Ghione said it was thrill to be on television during the finals when the Best of Breeds competed in Best of Group on Tuesday night even though Stitch lost out to a Skye terrier. 

Overall, 2,711 dogs in 192 breeds and varieties stepped into the judging ring at the show.

A shih tzu called Rocket co-owned by famed and infamous heiress Patty Hearst won the toy group and Swagger an Old English sheepdog, who finished second at Westminster in 2013, took the herding group.

Top honors at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show went to a 4-year-old beagle named Miss P who now gets to spend the next few weeks on a media tour and dining with Donald Trump.

“You do it a lot for the bragging rights,” Taylor-Ghione said on competing. “With him winning, he’ll be in the top five for his breed.”