Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Scottish deerhound scores a first at Westminster

By Jason Hanna, CNN
  • Hickory becomes first Scottish deerhound to win Best in Show at Westminster show
  • Dog also is only fifth hound to win top prize there
  • Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was held Monday and Tuesday in New York

(CNN) -- The day of the Scottish deerhound has finally come at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Hickory, a 5-year-old female from Virginia, became the first of her breed to win Best in Show at Westminster, taking the top prize on the second and final day of the event at New York's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

The victory also is only the fifth at Westminster for a dog from the hound group. The Best in Show prize has been given for 104 years.

"It's just the thrill of a lifetime," Hickory's handler, Angela Lloyd, told USA Network, which showed the contest. "People who own, breed (and) show dogs dream of this day their whole entire lives, and here we are."

Hickory, who won the hound group a day earlier, vied for Best in Show with the winners of six other groups. The last time a hound won was 2008, when Uno the beagle took top honors.

Behind the scenes at the dog show
Snooki hairdo, new breeds at dog show

Judges are instructed to evaluate dogs on how well they fit the written standards -- the ideal appearance, movement, temperament and other traits -- of their breed. Judge Paolo Dondina of Italy said Hickory fit exactly the same Scottish deerhound standards that he'd studied long ago.

"Outstanding dog. Moving and type (were) super," Dondina told USA.

President Barack Obama might be happy for one of the six other finalists. Ladybug, a Portuguese water dog, got to the final by winning the working-dog group. The first family famously became the owners of such a dog in 2009.

What does a best in show victory mean for the owner, handler and canine? David Frei, who provided commentary for USA's coverage, answered this way:

"To the owner and the handlers, I think the important thing is the recognition of your peers, first of all in the show world, but also in the general public, of having a great show dog and being successful at what you're doing. You're an artist, and the rest of the world is appreciating your art.

"For the dog, (it) means better treats, probably," he said.

It also will mean plenty of media attention. Last year's winner, Sadie the Scottish terrier, embarked on a media tour that included trips to the New York Stock Exchange and the Empire State Building, and a visit with Donald Trump.

Besides Hickory and Ladybug, the other group winners -- and Best of Show finalists -- were:

-- Toy: A Pekingese named Malachy

-- Non-sporting: A Chinese shar-pei named Jayne

-- Herding: A bearded collie named Mister Baggins

-- Sporting: A black cocker spaniel named Beckham

-- Terrier: A smooth fox terrier named Adam

Terriers have won 45 of the 104 Westminster Best in Show titles. More than 2,000 dogs, representing 179 breeds, were competing in this year's show.