Competition was fierce at the 135th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, in New York City. Millions of people tuned in to watch the two-day, televised event to find out who would win Best-in-Show.
The Westminster Dog Show is the oldest and best-known canine contest in the United States. It has taken place in New York City every year since 1877. This year, nearly 2,600 dogs representing 170 breeds entered the competition at Madison Square Garden.
America's New Top Dog
Hickory's full name is Foxcliffe Hickory Wind. The 85-pound Scottish deerhound, who loves to chase deer and rabbits, comes from a big farm in Virginia. "She's not used to lights, camera and noise," says her handler, Angela Lloyd. But Hickory wasn't intimidated by the big-city competition at the Garden.
Hickory's final round of competition on the famed green carpet included a Scottish deerhound, a Pekingese, a Portuguese water dog, a Chinese shar-pei, a smooth fox terrier, a bearded collie and a black cocker spaniel. Hickory became the first of her breed to win the title of America's Top Dog. The 5-year-old dog de-thrones last year's winner, a 4-year-old Scottish terrier named Sadie.
"I think Hickory could feel my lead that I was excited and went with it," said Lloyd. For Loyd, who won a different prize once at Westminster in 1998, it was a dream come true. "People who own, breed, show dogs dream of this day," she said.
Hickory's prizes include a purple-and-gold ribbon and a shiny silver bowl. She'll also get to enjoy a steak dinner and a trip to the top of the Empire State Building—a whole lot of big-city fun for a newly famous farm dog.