Crufts 2007 will be remembered by working gundog enthusiasts rather more for the confusion over the impending docking ban than the success of SuCh/NuCh ?Almanza Far & Flyg?, a flatcoated retriever from Switzerland, representing the gundogs in the final Best of Breed judging. Despite the flatcoat being strongly tipped for Best in Show, that honour went to a Tibetan terrier, with a fox terrier runner-up.
A flatcoat also won the top award in the BASC Gamekeepers? Ring: Leicestershire gamekeepers Dawn Hall and Brian Twigger and their dog Ch ?Ghilgrange Magic Magician? JW ShCM (Merlin) took the BASC John George Memorial Trophy before taking the Best in Class, the Northesk Memorial Trophy. This was a fine win for veteran Merlin, who is 10 years old. Dawn Hall said: ?Merlin has won a lot of awards, but this is the best yet. For me it was as good as being Best in Show.?
With a record entry of more than 360 dogs, the BASC ring was busy throughout the gundogs? day last Thursday. Such a volume of entries saw the ring divided in two to accommodate the entries. Judges Sally Jenkins and Paul Rawlings worked flat out to keep it all running on time. Masterminding the classes was BASC?s Sheila Gussey.
By far the most popular individual classes in the BASC ring were those for AV pointer, setter or HPR, with 38 entries in the dog class and 55 in the bitch class, prompting Sheila to suggest that next year the pointers/setters and the HPRs might have to be split. The bitch class was won by Derek Hardcastle?s vizsla Willow, the dog class by Lex, Kate Bull?s Weimaraner. It was Lex?s third successive win in the event.