Westminster to pick Best In Show dog, heiress Patty Hearst's Shih Tzu a finalist

A West Highland White Terrier gives a "high-five" before competing on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP
A West Highland White Terrier gives a "high-five" before competing on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Saint Bernard waits in the benching area at Pier 92 and 94 at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday.-- PHOTO: AFP 
A Saint Bernard waits in the benching area at Pier 92 and 94 at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday.-- PHOTO: AFP 
Money Penny, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, waits before judging on day one of the show. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Money Penny, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, waits before judging on day one of the show. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
AFTER: The finished Komondorok, we think. -- PHOTO: AFP
AFTER: The finished Komondorok, we think. -- PHOTO: AFP
BEFORE: A Komondorok being groomed in the benching area on the second day of competition on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP
BEFORE: A Komondorok being groomed in the benching area on the second day of competition on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Clumber Spaniel competes at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Manhattan, New York on Feb 17, 2015 -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Clumber Spaniel competes at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Manhattan, New York on Feb 17, 2015 -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Jack Russell Terrier in the benching area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the 2nd day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015
Jack Russell Terrier in the benching area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the 2nd day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015
A Bichon Frise in the judging area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the first day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 16, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Bichon Frise in the judging area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the first day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 16, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
An Irish Setter is prepped backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015 in New York City. 
An Irish Setter is prepped backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015 in New York City. 
A Tibetan Mastiff waits in the judging area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the 2nd day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
A Tibetan Mastiff waits in the judging area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the 2nd day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Saint Bernards gather in the judging area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the 2nd day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015.-- PHOTO: AFP
Saint Bernards gather in the judging area at Pier 92 and 94 in New York City on the 2nd day of competition at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb 17, 2015.-- PHOTO: AFP
A Bichon Frise is walked in the ring during competition in the Non-Sporting Group at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club's Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Monday.-- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Bichon Frise is walked in the ring during competition in the Non-Sporting Group at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club's Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Monday.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The crowning of the grand champion of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday brought together the world's top dogs, from shaggy to sleek and from famous to infamous, namely a finalist owned by heiress Patty Hearst.

The 139th Westminster show, the United State's second-longest continuously running sporting event after the Kentucky Derby, features 192 breeds and varieties and culminates with the selection of the Best In Show winner.

More than 2,700 dogs from 15 countries and all US states except North Dakota and Idaho are competing in this year's prestigious two-day event at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Judges select the best of each breed and group, divided into seven categories - hound, toy, non-sporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier.

On Monday, the first night of events, a bouncy 15-inch beagle, named Miss P, was selected to represent the hound group.

Chosen to head the toy group was a silky-haired Shih Tzu, called Rocket. Rocket, who wore a sparkling ponytail, is co-owned by Patricia Hearst Shaw, a publishing heiress famous in the 1970s for being kidnapped by and then apparently joining an American revolutionary group called the Symbionese Liberation Army.

A dark and puffy standard poodle named Flame was also a group winner on Monday, and will represent the non-sporting group. For the herding group, the friendly 110-pound Old English sheepdog, Swagger, was picked.

Sporting, working and terrier groups are judged on Tuesday evening.

Miss P, Swagger and a Portuguese water dog, named Matisse, are considered this year's show favourites. Matisse will compete for best in the working group on Tuesday.

Those selected as the best in their groups compete for the ultimate Best In Show prize, won last year by Sky, a wire fox terrier from California.

The winner gets a trophy and embarks on a media tour.