It was a big night at Drake University! On the evening of April 24th, the school held their 44th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest at the Knapp Center.

Ahead of this weekend's Drake Relays, 29 bulldogs from Iowa and beyond made their way to Des Moines to compete for the title of 'Most Beautiful Bulldog.' There were several awards handed out throughout the night, but only one pup could take home the  main award. Meet Patch, the 2023 champion!

According to the Des Moines Register, Patch is from Johnston, Iowa and is owned by Jennifer Hinton and Joel Kornder. Patch's mom Jennifer actually works at Drake University in the admissions department. Patch and Jennifer wore matching outfits at one point during the evening while Patch showed off her skill of walking through a hula hoop. Only 30 dogs are selected to compete for the Most Beautiful Bulldog award, and Patch's dad's Instagram says that she was chosen as lucky number 30 out of 142 applicants!

Other honorees at this year's Beautiful Bulldog Contest include Bella with the Spirit Award (she was dressed as a cheerleader!), one-eyed Winkles with the Porterhouse People’s Choice Award, Bentley Meatball (aka Woody from 'Toy Story') with the Best Dressed Award, and Jojo with the Rescue Dog Recognition Award. I wish they could've given an award to each and every one of the competitors, because they are ALL adorable!

And, of course, Drake's famous live mascot Griff was on hand for the night's festivities, too!

Patch is now the official mascot of the 2023 Drake Relays, which means that she will be at the event on either Friday or Saturday. The official website says she will also be invited to participate in promotional opportunities throughout the year and must attend the 2024 Beautiful Bulldog Contest to pass on her crown. Congratulations to Patch and her parents on a job well done!

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