Scottish deerhound, Hickory, got a different kind of treat on Tuesday night at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at New York City's Madison Square Garden, where she was named Best in Show.

"It was not an easy win," Judge Paolo Dondina told reporters after awarding Hickory the highest honor over six other finalists (including a Portuguese water dog, the same breed owned by Barack Obama and the First Family). "It was a super win because all the other [dogs] were Best in Show winners in many places," Dondina added. "I found the standard of the dogs and the presentation absolutely superb."

Hickory, a five-year old, 85 pound female, beat out 2,622 other dogs to take home the giant purple and gold ribbon. Her 31-year-old handler, Angela Lloyd, called the victory "the thrill of a lifetime," according to UK's Daily Mail, emphasizing that "people who own the breed have dreamed of this day their whole, entire life." And for good reason. This is the first time a Scottish deerhound has ever taken the title at the Westminster Dog Show, which is in its 135th year, making it the second-longest running sporting event in the nation, after the Kentucky Derby.

This triumph spells retirement for Hickory. Her remaining days will be spent chasing squirrels and deer and relaxing with her owners, Dr. R. Scott and Cecilia Dove, on their Virginia farm. But not before she gets to enjoy the prize of a gourmet steak and a photo shoot on top of the Empire State Building on Wednesday.


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In attendance at the event were New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams and Broadway sweetheart Bernadette Peters, who co-founded Broadway Barks!, a charity for animals in need of homes, with Mary Tyler Moore in the 1990s. —KIMBERLY STEELE

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