Sussex Spaniel Ch. Clussex Three D Grinchy Glee -- better known to the public as Stump -- was born Dec. 1, 1998 at the Clussexx Kennel in Bloomington. He was originally owned by Jamie Hubbard, who works at the Greencastle Veterinary Clinic. Stump was a regular patient at that clinic before he began his show career.
Hubbard still owns Stump's parents, Champion Clussexx Sprinkled with Dew ("Sprinkle") and Champion Clussexx Three D Wonka Bar ("Gus"), both 13, who receive their veterinary care at the Greencastle Veterinary Clinic. The dogs live at Clussexx Kennels with several other Sussex Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels and rescue Pekingese dogs.
Hubbard was at Westminster Show at New York's Madison Square Garden in February when Stump was announced as the winner.
"It was just like nothing I'd ever felt before," Hubbard said.
Stump, who won 51 best in show titles during the five years he was showing regularly, now resides with his handler, Scott Sommer, in Houston, Texas.
Stump's win at Westminster made history for a couple of different reasons. First, he was the first Sussex Spaniel to ever win best of show. Secondly, at 10 years of age, Stump was the oldest dog to ever take the top prize (the previous record was held by an 8-year-old Papillion who won the title in 1999).
Hubbard said Stump wasn't one of the first dogs selected to participate at Westminster. The first dogs chosen are those who have won shows throughout the year. Stump was awarded a wild card spot in the show. He was chosen by lottery.
Stump's road to the top wasn't smooth, either.
After winning the sporting group at Westminster in 2004, he fell very ill in 2005 and was retired. He spent 19 days at Texas A & M College of Veterinary and Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and seemed to be healthy, but Sommer opted not to take him back into the show ring -- until 2009.
Sommer didn't make the final decision to show Stump at the 2009 show until less than a week before the event. News reports said that the extent of Stump's preparation for the show was Sommer walking him around a driveway.
"To bring a dog into the Garden who hasn't been showing, (Sommer) was a little insane," Westminster Judge Sarl Brewster Tietjen told the Los Angeles Times after Stump's win. "I didn't know who he was or how old he was. He's just everything that you'd want in the breed, and I couldn't say no to him."
Because of his age, Stump wasn't expected to do as much traveling as previous Westminster winners have. He will appear at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in November, Hubbard said.
Stump's win wasn't the only excitement for Hubbard Westminster this year. Champion Clussexx Hail to the Chief ("Grant"), a Clumber Spaniel owned by Hubbard and Greencastle Veterinary Clinic vets John Helmers and Karen Davies, took best of breed at the show.