Image: Beautiful bulldog
Charlie Neibergall  /  AP
Tiberius holds court after winning Drake University's 26th annual “Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest” on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa.
updated 4/26/2005 7:38:29 PM ET 2005-04-26T23:38:29

He’s a mutt with a mug only a mother could love.

No matter. Tiberius, a 2½-year-old English bulldog, was crowned “Most Beautiful Bulldog” on Monday and will reign as the canine king at this year’s Drake Relays, Iowa’s premier sporting event.

Tiberius bested about 50 other eye-catching examples of the breed from throughout the Midwest in capturing the annual contest.

“What they look for is the ugliest bulldog you can find ... droopy eyes, protruding teeth, slobbering,” said Dolph Pulliam, director of Drake’s community outreach and development. “He rides in a golf cart around the track as the announcer announces him as the 2005 most beautiful. ... It is a coveted thing.”

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Tiberius is owned by Karen and Phil Swift and their three children. The family lives in suburban Des Moines.

“He’s very gentle. He loves to be played with and petted,” Karen Swift said. “He’s a typical bulldog.”

Tiberius, tagged with the middle name of Star Trek’s Capt. James T. Kirk, has entered the contest twice before and lost.

What made the difference this time?

“Just maturity, I guess,” Swift said.

The 96th track and field competition runs Wednesday through Saturday at Drake Stadium.

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