The Beautiful Bulldog Contest

The 45th Annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest®, presented by Ramsey Subaru, will take place Sunday, April 21, 2024. Doors will open at 1pm for guests to enjoy the Rescue Dog Festival and Kids Zone before the pageant begins at 2pm. Follow this webpage and the contest Facebook page for updates.

To participate in the contest, Bulldogs must enter the lottery, and be selected as one of the 30 contestants. Bulldog contestant registration closed March 11, 2024. The lottery to select the 30 bulldog contestants, and 10 alternates took place on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Our presenting sponsor for the 2024 Beautiful Bulldog Contest is Ramsey Subaru. Ramsey Subaru shares in our love for dogs, and all animals. They are committed to helping those in shelters stay safe and healthy and find loving homes. We look forward to partnering with them on this year’s Beautiful Bulldog Contest.


2023 Winner — Patch

Patch - the 2023 winner of the Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake UniversityThousands of people joyfully gathered Monday evening at the Knapp Center on Drake University’s campus to celebrate the crowning of Patch as the winner of the 44th Annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest®. Ramsey Subaru served as the presenting sponsor of this year’s event for the first time.

The 2-year-old winning bulldog delighted the judges when she strutted down the runway in her custom jean jacket featuring a Drake University patch sewn into the fabric. A rescue dog that found her forever home when she was 7 months old, Patch was one of nine rescued dogs competing for the top spot.

Patch lives in Johnston, Iowa with her owners Jennifer Hinton and Joel Kornder. In addition to owning an English bulldog, Hinton has a special connection to Drake where she serves as Assistant Director of Transfer Admission.

Read more about Patch here.


The Beautiful Bulldog Contest History

The Beautiful Bulldog Contest® at Drake University is a unique trademarked event with an over 40-year history. The event kicks off a week-long Drake Relays celebration. Thirty 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, Best Dressed, 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 seven 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.

Beautiful Bulldog Contest FAQs

  • How can I stay up-to-date on the Beautiful Bulldog Contest?

    Follow the Beautiful Bulldog Contest Facebook page and bookmark our webpage, You can also RSVP to the contest and lottery events on Facebook where we will post timely updates.

  • Is it too late to enter my Bulldog?

    Registration for the 2024 contest will be open from February 11 – March 11, 2024. Be sure to bookmark and follow our Facebook page so you don’t miss any announcements regarding the contest.

  • Does it cost to enter?

    No, it does not cost to register for the Beautiful Bulldog Contest. We ask that only serious applicants register so we can avoid last minute drops. We draw alternates, but have had an increase in participants dropping out last minute. Please only register if you can be in Des Moines, Iowa to attend the contest on Sunday, April 21, 2024, AND make an appearance later that week during Drake Relays on either April 26th or 27th.

  • Do I need to bring proof of vaccines?

    All entries must have current rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordatella (kennel cough) vaccinations and this year we will be asking for proof of vaccinations from your veterinarian should you be drawn as one of the official contestants.

  • Can I bring my pet as a spectator to the contest?

    No. For the safety of the animals and all spectators, we ask that people do not bring their pets to the contest. The only animals allowed are the contestants and the animals up for adoption from the various local animal shelters.

  • If we win, what is expected of us?

    As the official mascot of the 2024 Drake Relays, this year’s Most Beautiful Bulldog is required to visit the Drake Relays on either Friday or Saturday, April 26 or 27, 2024. The winner will also be asked to attend the 2025 Beautiful Bulldog Contest, if possible, for a formal passing of the cape and crown. The winner may be invited to participate in additional promotional opportunities throughout the year, but it is ultimately up to each individual winner to decide how involved they want to be.


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

Supporters just like you help to make a difference every day.