Red Bluff corgi takes group honors at Westminster Kennel Club dog show

Monday night was a big night for a little dog from Red Bluff.

Six-year-old Coco Posh – aka Riverside Telltail Coco Posh – began the day by winning Best of Breed honors for Cardigan Welsh corgis at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City. She capped off the evening by taking first place in the herding group, in competition with 24 other Best of Breed winners.

“I’m stupefied,” said owner Julie Divens. “Our breed has never won in group (competition). The dogs with legs always win.”

As a group winner, Coco Posh will go on to compete for Best of Show honors tonight.

Coco Posh’s mother and father were champions, but until two years ago, Coco Posh lived the life of a family pet with Julie and Bill Divens at their Salmon King Lodge in Red Bluff. When she was “discovered” by two professional handlers, Divens said she couldn’t deny her a shot at stardom. Coco Posh has been going to shows since January 2012. This was her second consecutive Best of Breed championship at the Westminster show.

She’s been on the show circuit for two years, and last year Coco Posh’s handlers, Dina Planche and Deb Shindle, became co-owners with the Divens family.

“When she’s on the road, she stays at the homes of either of her handlers,” Julie Divens said. “When she’s not on the road, however, she travels in a luxurious motor home, is not shown constantly and gets massages, chiropractic adjustment and lots of beautification and playtime. She loves catching Frisbee.”

Corgis may not fit the usual image of a herding dog but they are very effective herders, Divens said. Because they are small and short-legged, they are able to duck before the animals they are herding can kick them.

“They’re a big dog in a little dog package,” Julie Divens said.

Divens said she had expected Coco Posh to retire from show biz after this year and return home to Red Bluff, but Monday’s win means she could go on to international competition.

Among Coco Posh’s competitors in the herding group Monday night was Pleasant Hill Magnum of Samara, a Canaan dog owned by Pamela Stacy Rosman of Davis. Nine-year-old Magnum won his fifth consecutive Best of Breed victory at the Westminster Kennel Club show.