DES MOINES, Iowa — The first competition in this year's Drake Relays has a winner, and it's a 2-year-old bulldog named Patch.
Patch was awarded the top prize at the 44th annual Drake Beautiful Bulldog Contest Monday night: being named the Relays' official mascot for 2023.
Competitors came from six states, but Patch reigns from the Des Moines metro.
She's a rescue pup from Johnston, living with her owners Joel Kornder and Jennifer Hinton. Hinton also has ties to the university; she works at Drake as assistant director of transfer admissions.
“I heard about the contest when I moved to Des Moines this past summer, and I knew I had to enter Patch,” Hinton said. “She is the epitome of the bulldog breed, and we’re so proud of her all the time but especially today. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received and this opportunity to show everyone how special Patch is.”
Patch won the judges over with her custom jean jacket embellished with a Drake University logo. She showed off her talents, too, by going through a hoop to claim her crown as the most Beautiful Bulldog.
The contest also had some honorable mentions:
- Runner Up: Bella owned by Jenny and Seth Fitch from West Des Moines, Iowa
- Second Runner-Up: Bentley Meatball owned by Amanda and Kevin Olson from Urbandale, Iowa
- Best Dressed: Bentley Meatball owned by Amanda and Kevin Olson from Urbandale, Iowa
- Drake Spirit Award: Bella owned by Jenny and Seth Fitch from West Des Moines, Iowa
- Rescue Dog: Jojo owned by Tina Reckamp from Lakewood, Colorado
- Porterhouse People's Choice: Winkles owned by Judy Jones from Ankeny, Iowa
Patch beat out 28 other handsome hounds in this year's contest. She will hold the title until the 2024 Relays.
For a full list of past Beautiful Bulldog Contest winners, click here.