Ceil Dove said she recognized at once, the minute the puppy was born at her Flint Hill farm, that she was something special.
Four years later, she’s been proven correct on an international stage.
Monday at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York, Dove’s Scottish Deerhound Ch. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind claimed the title of Best of Breed before finishing third for Best in Group in the competitive Hound Group.
In her first time at the historic competition, the nation’s oldest championship pedigreed dog show, Foxcliffe Hickory Wind beat out six others to win the breed title, then faced 10 other breed class winners in the group finals later that night.
In the group finals, it was a heyday for sighthound fans — a Whippet, Starline’s Chanel, won the Best in Group title, with the Greyhound Grandcru Clos Erasmus second and Foxcliffe Hickory Wind third.
Scottish Terrier Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot beat out some 2,500 other dogs to earn the coveted Best in Show title.
Along with the Crufts show in England, Westminster is the most prestigious pedigreed dog show in the world. Westminster was first held at Madison Square Garden in 1877.
Dogs had to qualify for Westminster by earning championships in recognized shows, making Westminster truly a measure of the nation’s best.
Foxcliffe Hickory Wind was handled by Warrenton professional Angela Lloyd.
Breeders Scott and Ceil Dove, who breed Deerhounds and Lurchers at their Foxcliffe Farm in Flint Hill, share ownership in Hickory with Sally Sweatt of Minneapolis.
An ancient breed, the Scottish Deerhound is a sighthound, following game using its excellent eyesight. Deerhounds are tall and leggy, with a long, sweeping tail, carried low, and a narrow, tapered head. Their coat is gray with wiry hair on the body and quarters, with softer hair on the head and belly.
Deerhounds range in size from 28 to 32 inches high and weigh between 75 and 110 pounds.