A Scottish deerhound named Claire just made history by becoming the first dog to win the Best in Show title two years in a row at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia.
The competition was fierce this year, with five of the top eight dogs in the country competing. But 4-year-old Claire seemed confident as she excelled in a series of challenges.
“She's a year older and more sure of herself and mature into her body,” her owner, Angela Lloyd, said after her victory.
Lloyd also joined TODAY virtually this morning, accompanied by a relaxed-looking Claire, and talked about the “pure joy” of the competition.
“You work daily with these dogs that we have, and they’re part of our lives,” she said. “It’s just totally amazing when things like this happen because this makes for a wonderful time together.”
David Frei, co-host of the National Dog Show, also talked about Claire’s history-making victory on TODAY.
“With Claire, she’s in great condition, she looks beautiful, Angela’s got a perfect hand on her in the ring, and everything came together,” he said.
Claire — whose full name is GCH Foxcliffe Claire Randall Fraser — comes from a long line of champions. Her mother, Chelsea, won second place at the 2015 National Dog Show, and her grandmother, Hickory, was the Best in Show champion at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.
About 20 million people tune in annually to National Dog Show, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. During the most recent show, there were more than 1,500 entries across 188 breeds.
Scottish deerhounds are wiry, often shaggy dogs that can reach a height of 32 inches. The American Kennel Club describes these hounds’ typical personality as “dignified," "gentle" and "polite."