A Lancashire dog handler was celebrating at this year’s Crufts after her four-legged friend strolled away with a prize on the 125th anniversary of the world’s largest dog show.
Felicity Ashford, 32,of Overton, near Lancaster, and three-year-old Belgian Laekenois, Zodt, fought off competition from a host of other dogs to scoop the coveted Best Dog in the Belgian Shepherd (Laekenois) category.
Crufts is a wonderful and prestigious competition and it feels fantastic to have won hereFelicity Ashford
Zodt was one of nearly 22,000 dogs at Birmingham’s NEC last week for the dog show, which first took place in 1891 where it featured just 2,437 entries.
And after seeing her beloved pet pooch put his best paw forward at Crufts 2016, presented by the Kennel Club, Felicity was left beaming with pride at her and Zodt’s performance in the West Midlands.
She said: “It has been a really good experience; we are absolutely delighted to have been named best of breed as we never expected it.
“Crufts is a wonderful and prestigious competition and it feels fantastic to have won here.
“We are very tired now after a long day but this weekend has been worth it, Zodt and I have thoroughly enjoyed it but it’s time to get him some water and some treats I think.”
A West Highland Terrier claimed the top Best in Show prize.
White Westie Devon beat off stiff competition from six other dogs in the final. Owner Marie Burns from Co. Durham said she knew Devon was special from an early age as she told Channel 4 presenter Clare Balding she had said to a friend when the puppy was just eight or nine weeks old: “I think I’ve got the nicest Westie I’ve ever bred here.”
Hazel the Whippet, from Dumfriesshire, was the runner-up.