New York City (February 15, 2011) - A five-year-old Scottish Deerhound named Hickory emerged as Best in Show at the 135th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, winning the sport's top honor over an outstanding cast of highly-ranked canines Tuesday night before an appreciative, near-capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden.

As the first-ever member of the tradition-rich breed to win the coveted Westminster title, Hickory (Ch. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind) was handled by Angela Lloyd of Warrenton, VA, and owned by Sally Sweatt of Minneapolis and Ceil and Robert Dove of Flint Hill, VA.

One of the oldest breeds known to man, Scottish Deerhounds have been shown at Westminster since its very first show in 1877. Win or lose, Hickory's connections had decided to retire her following this competition. The statuesque gray female will now romp on her 50-acre farm in Warrenton, where deer and squirrel are in abundance.

"All dogs are easy to love but sometimes you find one that clicks," offered Lloyd in reference to her relationship with America's top-ranked Scottish Deerhound. "We've been through a lot together (14 total Best in Shows) and that builds a bond."

Hickory came out of the Hound Group Monday night and waited 24 hours for her special moment, selected by Best In Show Judge Paolo Dondina from Italy. Hickory bested Malachy, the Pekingese (Toy Group); Jayne, the Chinese Shar-Pei (Non-Sporting Group); Mr. Baggins, the Bearded Collie (Herding Group); Ladybug, the Portuguese Water Dog (Working Group); Beckham, the Black Cocker Spaniel (Sporting Group) and Adam, the Smooth Fox Terrier (Terrier Group).

A total of 2,622 champion showdogs competed in America's second oldest sporting event (behind only the Kentucky Derby). The international sport's pre-eminent competition included representatives of all 179 breeds eligible under American Kennel Club rules.

On Wednesday, Hickory spent the day on an unparalleled media tour, including Today, The Early Show, Good Day New York, Fox and Friends, Martha, Bloomberg News, Fox News, LXNY, WNBC News and press events at the Empire State Building, Sardi's Restaurant. Other stops on the tour included a visit with Donald Trump and a visit with pediatric oncology patients at the New York City Ronald McDonald House.

On Thursday morning, Hickory presided over the opening bell ceremonies at the New York Stock Exchange before heading home.

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