CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A boxer who spent some time growing up in Staunton is in New York City, hoping to win a championship. This boxer doesn’t have gloves, and the ring she’ll be in is about beauty, poise, and correctly aligned teeth, among so many other things.
NBC29′s Tara Todd introduces us to Wilma, a boxer who is getting ready to strut her stuff in the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the Super Bowl of dog shows.
Wilma, along with her handler Michael Shepherd, will be judged against thousands of dogs Tuesday. “It’s always pressure here. It doesn’t matter what you did the year before. It’s always pressure here,” Shepherd said.
According to co-owner Debbie Caywood, Wilma is a 50 pound boxer who thinks she's a lapdog. “You're gonna wonder how in the world she ever behaves in the show ring. She's bad.”
But Wilma is a star and the proof is in her record. She is the winningest female boxer in history. In 2019 she was number one working dog, number one boxer, and she also won the working group at Westminster.
Caywood, who lives in Staunton, says Wilma’s more than a winner, she’s a bright light for her and the team.
Caywood’s husband David has been battling cancer and just two weeks ago Cheryl Robbins, one of Wilma’s owners who’d planned to be at Westminster, lost her battle with cancer.
Wilma is making them smile through the pain. “She’s just sort of kept this team together and pulled us through and gave us something to smile about,” Caywood stated.
“You say you want to win the breed, you say you want to win the group, but most of all we just want Wilma to go in and just show like we know she can show and just make us proud,” Caywood said.
Wilma competes in the best of breed boxers Tuesday morning. If she wins she’ll head on to the working group competition that evening at Madison Square Garden.