The Beautiful Bulldog Contest

The annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest® presented by Sammons Financial returned to the Knapp Center Sunday, April 18 for an in-person (and canine) event.

A crowd of 300 adoring fans seated in ticketed pods watched as 20 English bulldogs strutted their stuff down the pageant Pupway. Proud sponsor Sammons Financial provided contest shirts and face masks to Drake University students who attended the contest.


2021 Winner Myrtle Mae

Myrtle Mae and her Owners celebrating their winRescue dog Myrtle Mae was crowned the overall winner at the 2021 Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest® presented by Sammons Financial at Drake University Sunday, April 18 and served as official mascot for the 111th running of the Drake Relays.

2003 Drake Law graduate Whitney Bogdanski of Des Moines started fostering Myrtle Mae from Lucky Bulldogs Rescue in 2020. The family fell in love with her immediately and knew she needed to be a permanent part of the family. That happened just last month along with sibling dog Ivy, who is an American bulldog mix. Myrtle is epileptic and requires special attention from the Bogdanski family.

“She wanted to be loved and it was so easy to love her,” Whitney Bogdanski said. “We gave her a lot of love and she opened up.”

Read more about Myrtle Mae here.


2022 Contest

A date is not yet set for the 2022 contest. Registration for the contest will likely open in February 2022 and close in March 2022. Follow this webpage and the contest Facebook page for updates.

Questions? If you have any questions about the Beautiful Bulldog Contest that aren't answered in our eligibility rules, contest rules, or Frequently Asked Questions, please email us at


The Beautiful Bulldog Contest History

The Beautiful Bulldog Contest® at Drake University is a unique trademarked event with a 40-year history. The event kicks off a week-long Drake Relays celebration. Forty English Bulldogs walk the pup-way to impress judges in hopes of being crowned the Most Beautiful Bulldog. The winner then serves a year-long reign as the Drake Relays mascot and the Most Beautiful Bulldog. 

During the contest, each contestant will walk the pageant runway. This is prime time for the pups to show off their stuff or do tricks. Our judges will meet each contestant and together determine the winners of each award category, which include Drake Spirit, Family Theme, Best Dressed, Congeniality, Rescue Dog Recognition, Porterhouse People's Choice, Second Runner-Up, Runner-Up, and Most Beautiful Bulldog. It’s up to the judges to decide how each Bulldog best represents these nine awards and both the judging time and the pageant is what they use to judge these categories.


Past Beautiful Bulldog Contest Winners

Click here to see a listing of past contest winners through the years.

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