Hickory a Scottish Deerhound: The Best in Show Champion’s Tale

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Within the illustrious realm of the dog world, few events are as prestigious as winning at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. For Hickory, an imposing 5 year old Scottish Deerhound, this aspiration turned into an achievement in 2011. 

Her triumph was more than just personal glory and the events that unfolded are worth recapping as they marked a significant chapter in history for the Scottish Deerhound breed. Let us delve into her exceptional path from a Virginia farmstead to achieving this historic victory.

Flint Hill: Where Hickory’s Dreams Began

Hickory’s origins are traced back to the tranquil 50-acre farm in Flint Hill, Virginia. Surrounded by scenic beauty, she spent her early days indulging in lively pursuits of deer and rabbits across the countryside, sharpening her innate abilities that would eventually pave her path to prominence.

In this idyllic sanctuary within Flint Hill, Hickory’s aspirations blossomed. From free-roaming farm life to a new, bustling city life, Hickory was able to adapt to any environment she was placed in. This flexibility speaks volumes about her versatility.

Preparing for the Big Stage

In preparation for the Westminster Dog Show, Hickory underwent tailored conformation and obedience training. She was also acclimatized to replica settings that mimicked the actual conditions anticipated at the event. This rigorous preparation aimed to guarantee a perfect execution under the intense scrutiny of the show’s dazzling lights.

To keep Hickory in top physical shape, a meticulously selected diet was implemented alongside consistent grooming practices and routine vet check ups. A vital element that contributed to her success, was the strong bond between Hickory and her handler.

Behind the Scenes with Handler Angela Lloyd

Angela Lloyd started her Westminster journey at nine and applied her skills for competitive showing to prepare Hickory. She began transforming and shaping her into America’s premier Scottish Deerhound with meticulous training and enthusiasm.

The Scottish Deerhound Breed

Hickory’s noble breed, boasts an ancestry that stretches back through the ages of time. Once the companions of the northern British aristocracy, their prowess in the hunt revered for over a millennium. Known for their speed, endurance, and agility, Deerhounds were the quintessential hunters, with a built-in love for the chase. Their physique enables them to pursue deer across highlands.

Their distinctive coat requires regular grooming, an aspect that not only speaks to their aesthetic but also to practical considerations. With a temperament that balances independence with an eagerness to please, Scottish Deerhounds offer a unique training dynamic.

Hickory’s Competition

In the final showdown, she stood tall among a parade of potential champions, including:

  • a flamboyant Pekingese
  • a regal Bearded Collie
  • a determined Smooth Fox Terrier
  • a robust Portuguese Water Dog
  • a sleek Chinese Shar-Pei
  • the ever-charming Black Cocker Spaniel

Throughout the event, Hickory’s grace and composure were tested against various breeds, all vying for the coveted title. Each competitor brought their unique skills and strengths to the ring, but it was Hickory, with her distinct silhouette and aristocratic bearing, who ultimately captivated the judges.

The Crowning Moment at Madison Square Garden

At Madison Square Garden, an unforgettable moment unfolded as Hickory, embodying grace and poise, patiently waited for the declaration that would forever alter her course. Surrounded by a symphony of applause on Tuesday night’s electric atmosphere, she was the picture of serenity.

Angela Lloyd offered steady assurance beside her—their bond a testament to the power and strength of enduring teamwork. The phrase “Best in Show” echoed throughout the storied venue and with it came Hickory’s name sealing this chapter in Westminster Kennel Club history as one marked by sheer perfection. 

The Aftermath of Victory

Following her triumphant win at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Hickory was thrust into a frenzy of media spotlight. Her victory elevated the status of Scottish Deerhounds throughout the country and ignited an increase in fascination with this noble breed, as countless individuals were drawn to her tale.

After the ribbon was cut, Hickory’s existence shifted to a serene pace. Arrangements were set for her to take a step back into retirement at Flint Hill. Hickory can now enjoy peace and tranquility on her breeder’s farm.

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