Noted dog handler injured in wreck en route to Westminster show

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — A star dog handler who has guided two winners at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, was injured while driving a van full of canines cross-country, his wife said.

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Bill McFadden was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming, while driving a van full of dogs cross-country to the show in Tarrytown, New York, his wife, Taffe McFadden, told The Associated Press on Saturday.

McFadden was hospitalized for several days and is recuperating at his home in Acampo, California, Taffe McFadden told the AP.

None of the 10 dogs in the van were injured.

“I’m really glad to be here. I wish my husband was with me,” Taffe McFadden said. “It’s a highly coveted dog show to be at, and for them to work this hard to make it happen is pretty awesome.”

For the first time in its 145-year history, the Westminster show moved from New York City to a suburban estate, and from February to June. The moves were made so the event could be held outdoors during the pandemic. Organizers closed the show to the public.

Judging began Saturday for the best-in-show prize, which will be awarded Sunday night, the AP reported.

Bill McFadden’s winners include a bichon frise named Flynn for best in show in 2018, and Mick, a Kerry blue terrier, to the overall title in 2003, the AP reported.