Hickory, winner of the hound group, beat out the six other group winners to claim the silver cup.
As the Kennel Club’s 135th champion, Hickory becomes the first ever Scottish Deerhound to win the Westminster Dog Show. “The crowd erupted with joy at the judge’s unusual choice,” a Westminster Kennel Club press representative told NewsFeed.
Italian judge Paolo Dondina is only the fifth non-American to make the ultimate decision at Westminster. He wasn’t permitted to see any of the dogs until judgment time arrived, only hearing tales of the victors. His unexpected choice brought cheers from the audience.
(More on TIME.com: See the six new breeds at this year’s show.)
The prestigious competition showed off 2,622 dogs around the ring at Madison Square Garden on Monday and Tuesday. Each was primped to strut his or her stuff for the judges. And even the addition of six new breeds was no match for Hickory, whose formal name is Foxcliffe Hickory Wind. She unleashed her beautiful gait for Dondina and seemed to be a crowd favorite long before her crowning, grabbing the attention of Facebookers and Tweeters.
Westminster Kennel Club reports that the Empire State Building will be lit up in purple and gold to celebrate Hickory and all the other furry friends. Hickory has truly earned the right to call herself America’s top dog.
(More on TIME.com: See the dogs’ hot hairstyles.)