Scottish Deerhound ‘Claire’ Wins Best in Show at 2021 National Dog Show

Scottish Deerhound Named ‘Claire’ Wins Best in Show at 2021 National Dog Show

“Claire,” a 4-year-old gray female Scottish Deerhound, delivered a classic performance with effortless style and grace to win the 20th annual “National Dog Show Presented by Purina” with pro handler Angela Lloyd.

The No. 3 all-breed dog and No. 1 Hound in the country, MBIS GCHS Foxcliffe Claire Randall Fraser is now a two-time National Dog Show Best in Show winner, having also won in 2020. Claire is the 11th consecutive Best in Show winner of the National Dog Show to be fed Purina Pro Plan dog food. The No. 1 Scottish Deerhound all systems outperformed over 1,500 dogs representing nearly 200 breeds to win top honors.

“Claire really is at the top of her game,” said Lloyd, of Amissville, Virginia. “Everything came together. She is a very majestic, magical creature.”

Best in Show judge Jeffrey G. Pepper of Boynton Beach, Florida, said, “The Scottish Deerhound’s athleticism going around the ring caught my eye and held it. She fit the breed standard to a ‘T’ both physically and mentally.”

Six of the seven Group First winners at the National Dog Show were fueled to their wins by Purina Pro Plan dog food, including Claire who is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula dog food. Televised on NBC on Thanksgiving Day, the National Dog Show features celebrity co-hosts David Frei and John O’Hurley, who team up on the broadcast that reaches over 20 million viewers. The show is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia.

Besides being the first two-time National Dog Show Best in Show winner, Claire, who is named for actor Caitriona Balfe’s character, Claire Randall Fraser, on the TV series “Outlander,” is the winningest Scottish Deerhound in U.S. breed history. She won her 38th Best in Show at the National Dog Show and repeated the win the next day at the second Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Show. This amazing Deerhound was co-bred and is co-owned by Cecilia Dove and her veterinarian husband, Dr. R. Scott Dove, of Flint Hill, Virginia, and Lloyd.

The threesome began when Lloyd handled Claire’s granddam, GCH Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, the 2011 Westminster Best in Show winner, the first Deerhound to win at the Garden. Claire’s dam, GCHS Foxcliffe Chelsea Piers, won Reserve Best in Show and Hound Group First at the 2015 National Dog Show. Lloyd, a second-generation dog enthusiast, was the Best Junior Handler at the Garden in 1998 and was named the Professional Handler of the Year in 2017.

Along with Claire, the Hound Group winner, the other Group First winners are:

  • Reserve Best in Show and Herding Group Winner: GCHG RPK3 La Brise Chanson d’Amour FDC CGC ATT, a 7 ½-year-old fawn female rough-faced Pyrenean Shepherd, handled by Ruthellen Viall of Binghamton, New York. “Sasha” is owned by Scott and Nancy Taylor and was bred by Dr. Patricia Princehouse of Chardon, Ohio, and Viall’s son, Roger Krieger, a former junior handler. Sasha is the only female from a litter whelped by Krieger’s junior dog.
  • Toy Group Winner: GCHG Tamarin Tattoo, a 4-year-old beige male Affenpinscher, handled by Alfonso Escobedo of Houston. Owned by Laura McIngvale Brown and Doyle Girouard, “Chester,” who also won the Toy Group at the 2020 National Dog Show, was bred by Tamarin Affenpinscher breeders Terry and Jacqueline Stacy. The No. 1 Toy dog (Dog News system) and No. 1 Affenpinscher all systems, Chester is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula dog food.
  • Non-Sporting Group Winner: GCHG Irresistibull Winter Is Coming Of Danditops, a 2 ½-year-old white male Bulldog, handled by Jay Serion of Seattle. “Winter” is owned by Link Newcomb and Annette Nobles, the co-breeder with her late husband, Ricky Nobles, and Dianna Thompson. The No. 1 Bulldog all systems, Winter set a record in 2021 as the winner of the most Group Firsts ever won by a male Bulldog in a single year with 45 Group Firsts. He is fed Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula dog food.
  • Terrier Group Winner: GCHS Hi-Kel Terrydale Nanhall Mizzconceived, a 5 ½-year-old red female Lakeland Terrier, handled by Ariel Cukier of Cambridge, Maryland. “MM” is owned by Cukier and Maripi Woolridge and was bred by Hayley Keyes along with Terrydale Kennels. The No. 1 Lakeland Terrier is fed Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula and Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Salmon & Rice Formula dog foods.
  • Sporting Group Winner: GCHG Clarity Reach The Sky Vjk-Myst, a 3-year-old female German Shorthaired Pointer, handled by Valerie Nunes-Atkinson of Temecula, California. “Jade” is co-owned by Nunes-Atkinson and Yvonne Hassler-Deterding, Carley Simpson, and Suzanne Acevedo, and was bred by Claire Malcom and Mariah Dupuy. The No. 1 German Shorthaired Pointer all systems, Jade was sired by the 2016 Westminster Best in Show winner, GCHP VJK-Myst Garbonita’s California Journey. Jade is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula dog food.
  • Working Group Winner: GCHS Ederra’s Glacier The Power Of Mo’Ne, a 7-year-old female Kuvasz, handled by Caroline Clegg of Lebanon, Ohio. “Mo’Ne” is owned by Clegg and her mother, Mary Clegg, along with breeder Marie Arechaederra. The No. 1 Kuvasz all systems is fed Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula dog food.

Congratulations to the 2021 National Dog Show winners!