United Kingdom

Boston terrier's owner nearly crushes her during intense agility round at Westminster dog show

A Boston terrier was almost flattened by her handler after he toppled to the ground while they attempted an intense agility round at the famed Westminster Dog Show. 

Ripple was making light work of the course in Tarrytown, upstate New York on Saturday, when her trainer and owner Dan Haddy lost his footing and fell, just missing the cute pet.  

Ripple stopped for a second, perhaps to make sure her owner was okay. 

But she was ready to go again as soon as he'd picked himself up, and completed the course in style.

'I am very excited to see Ripple,' a commentator says at the start of the video, which was published by Fox Sports. 'I saw Ripple run earlier today and I was so impressed.'

Ripple, who was competing in the 145th dog show last weekend, is seen in the video racing through the course with grace before her owner's trip interrupted her run.   

'Oh my goodness,' a commentator shouts as another says, 'Heartbreaking!' before the first commentator says, 'That was too bad.' 

Boston terrier Ripple almost got flattened by the handler during the 2021 Westminster Dog Show agility competition

Dan Haddy belly flopped against the course, just missing his beloved pet

Ripple stopped for a second to check on her owner

At the end of the video, Haddy scoops up Ripple and kisses her on the cheek

Ripple responded with an opened-mouthed smile  

But Haddy, from Anderson in South Carolina, quickly got back up and regained composure before the Boston terrier continued to run.  

'There gonna finish this run out,' the commentator says, 'You could hear the crowd cheering them on.'  

At the end of the video, Haddy scoops up Ripple and kisses her on the cheek as she pants with a huge, open-mouthed smile.

A border collie called Verb ended up winning the agility round - although Ripple and Haddy arguably ended up being the stars of the show, and have attracted the most media coverage.  

The Westminster Kennel Club usually holds its dog show in February at Madison Square Garden, but because of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, it was closed to the public and held outdoors 28 miles upstate in Tarrytown, for the first time in its 145-year history. 

Prior to the event, Ripple sunbathed in a 70-degree weather and stretched on soft grass on the lawn of the Gothic-style Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, New York, where the show was held. 

'I didn't really want to have to subject her to New York winter in the city,' Haddy told the Associated Press. 'June, out here, on a day like this — yeah, this is beautiful.'  

As numerous dog shows were cancelled over the past 15 months, there was even more competition among dogs hoping to qualify for a spot in the Westminster Dog Show. 

More than 300 dogs from breeds as diverse as Chihuahuas and Rottweilers vied for the agility championship, which went to  a border collie named Verb.

She and her handler Perry DeWitt, of Wyncote, Pennsylvania, took home their second championship - also winning in 2019 - just three days before the dog's eighth birthday.  

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