Cumbrian dog owner narrowly misses Crufts crown
Last updated at 11:33, Monday, 12 March 2012
A dog named Merlin had judges spellbound at Crufts but narrowly missed out on the top prize last night.
The Irish water spaniel, owned by Judith Carruthers, of Thursby, claimed top spot in the gun dog category at Britain’s most prestigious canine contest – the first of his breed to win the section.
The two-year-old pooch went on to represent Cumbria in yesterday’s Best in Show final, at te NEC in Birmingham, but was pipped by a Lhasa Apso named Elizabeth.
Speaking after Merlin’s win, Mrs Carruthers, 56, said: “I’m in complete shock.
“He’s been showing in the ring since he was very young so he is used to it but this is the first time he has done it in a show as big as Crufts.
“He was thrashing around all over the place at first and I was a bit worried but we got it together in the end and I am absolutely thrilled.”
The Irish water spaniel is a registered vulnerable breed, renowned for its shaggy mane of curls.
Originally bred as waterfowling dogs, they are excellent swimmers and are used in a variety of different work.
Mrs Carruthers, of Shaw Wood Road, has won prizes at Crufts every year for the past decade.
Caroline Kisko, of the Kennel Club, said: “We were delighted to see Merlin chosen as the Best in Group winner. He is such a lovely dog that clearly loves being in the show ring and has a great relationship with his handler. Reaching the Best in Show final at Crufts is a fabulous achievement for any dog.”
Last night’s final at the NEC was watched by an 8,000-strong crowd and a live television audience.
First published at 21:45, Sunday, 11 March 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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