A long-running dog show has come to a close this week, naming a female Scottish Deerhoud, Hickory, the best dog in the show. This is the first time the Best in Show award, the highest honor a dog can receive in a dog show, has been given to Hickory’s breed, but it isn’t the first Best in Show she has received.
Over 2,600 dogs competed to get where Hickory is – 2,622, in fact, and Hickory swept the board in both her class and the entire show. She has also taken 15 other Best in Shows in her career. The 85-pound bitch is a dignified dog with an elegant gait, long legs, and excellent form, all of which were homegrown on a big farm in Wallington, Virginia. And it’s no wonder she’s so graceful – she belongs to the royal breed of Scotland, the Scottish Deerhound.
Out of the 179 breeds that competed, this is the first time a Scottish Deerhound has been able to secure the Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Kennel Club Show in all of its 135 years. And out of those 179 breeds, six of them are new, including the Icelandic Sheepdog, the Leonberger, the Cane Corso, the Redbone Coonhound, the Bluetick Coonhound, and the Boykin Spaniel. For more info on the new breeds, see here.
As for the terriers, however, there have been 45 different members of their group who have taken the cake and eaten it too, with their Best in Show awards totaling more than any other class. In fact, last year’s Best in Show was another Scotland native, a Scottish Terrier, or Scottie, as many call them, named Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot or, as most call her, Sadie.
The year before that was also another record-breaking year for the Westminster Dog Kennel Club Show. A Sussex Spaniel was the oldest dog to ever win the Best in Show at 10 years, 9 months old.
Before that, a beagle named Uno took home the highest honor and is quite the famous pooch, having been invited to the White House as well as invited to ring the opening bell for Nasdaq and to retrieve the opening pitch to a Major League Baseball game.
While there is a $75 entry fee, there is no prize money, but that doesn’t matter to the owners, trainers, handlers and dogs who are competing for the ultimate glory at the Westminster Dog Show. They are looking for the feather in their cap, not prize money.
The dogs are also pampered at the S’paw where they can receive a one-hour massage for $20 or talk to a dog psychic for $1 a minute. And yes, people actually talk to dog pyshics!
Hickory, however, didn’t seem to need anyone to tell her whether she was going to win or not; she just did it.
GCH Foxcliffe Hickory Wind is her formal name, and she was born on December 20, 2005 to Foxcliffe Summoning Charms and was sired by Thistleglen Newell. She is owned by Sally Sweatt, Cecilia L Dove and Dr. R. Scott Dove. She was handled by Angela Lloyd.
What will Hickory do now? Well, she’ll be served up some Manhattan steak from Sardi’s and take a trip up the Empire State Building, but it’s common knowledge that she can’t wait to get back to her 50 acre farm and chase deer and rabbits through the woods again!
Westminster Dog Kennel Club Show (televised)
ABC “Up to the Minute” with Rob Nelson and Vinita Nair
The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: February 14-15, 2011
Scottish deerhound is best in show at Westminster
Uno Makes Westminster History