A top Carnaby breeder has won the grand final of a Crufts competition with her Irish Wolfhound named Gordon.
Louise Pinkney won the grand final of the Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition at Crufts at the weekend.
Officially named Champion Hydebeck Imperial Ruler JW in the Kennel Club, Gordon is Louise’s 21st champion and marks a run of success for the breeder.
In the Genting Arena at the NEC in Birmingham, the four-year-old Irish Wolfhound and his owner beat 22 other vulnerable breeds to be crowned the winner.
“The place was absolutely packed,” said Louise. “When we left all the people queuing for buses applauded Gordon which was really lovely.
“I got emotional, I have bread him and he’s achieved this.”
The vulnerable breeds competition helps raise awareness of rare and native breeds whose annual puppy registrations stand at fewer than 300.
This is the first time Louise has won in this category. Just 256 Irish Wolfhounds were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016, but the breed will be ineligible to compete next year as numbers increased to 372 in 2017.
Louise said: “It’s a difficult breed. They don’t have the biggest entry but they’re difficult to rear and we’re with them constantly for three and a half weeks.”
In 2006, she judged at Crufts which was always a huge ambition.
She added: “You stand there in the ring and you hope your dog is going to do well – otherwise you would not be standing there. And you know when your dog goes well, so you hope it might be you and suddenly the judge points to your dog. Wow!
“It is unbelievable that Gordon won. It is nice to see how well Wolfhounds fare in competitions at Crufts, which is always such a special show – Gordon competed in the Junior Warrant final at Crufts last year so to win the final this time is incredible.”
Gordon was chosen by judge Tom Mather as having the best overall quality evident from each of the 23 dogs representing their breeds.