Crufts has once again come and gone. We saw some impressive and gorgeous dogs compete, but unfortunately the event is shadowed with the death of one of the competitors.
The coveted Best in Show position was awarded last night (Sunday 08 March) and, among a truly impressive array of contenders, one was selected above the rest.
A Scottish Terrier by the name of Knopa was awarded best in show. In front of thousands of fellow dog lovers at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, she and her American handler were given the top spot.
Ms Cross, the handler of Knopa, said: “There are 21,000 other dogs here so this is completely unreal.
“I was convinced that the judge wasn’t going to pick her. She was wonderful tonight. She is probably going to retire after this show that makes this even more special.”
There were a couple of unplanned distractions from the show, including a PETA protestor running into the ring with a banner reading “Mutts against Crufts”. At another point, a gloriously groomed white and tan Springer Spaniel belied its beautiful appearance and holding by nervously relieving itself in front of the crowd and the judges.
A heart sinking moment for its handler, the commentator laughed the incident off and commended breeder Dylan Thomas for having a bag to hand to clear up the mess. “Look at that – a very responsible dog owner,” he said over the loud speakers, to which the crowd gave a supportive round of applause.
However, dominating the headlines this morning is the sad news about an Irish Setter named Jagger who died after leaving the venue, having competed in the competition.
Jagger, who won second in his class, was, according to his owners, poisoned while at the show.
The Setter, who collapsed and died after getting home to Belgium, was revealed to have had poisoned cubes of meat in his stomach.
“Whoever did this knew what they were doing, trying to get the right type of poison with a slow release,” said Ms Aleksandra Lauwers, co-owner of Jagger.
“The vet did an autopsy because the death was very suspicious.”
Everyone is waiting on a toxicology report, and the CCTV footage is being studied from the venue to see if any clues can be found. It is apparently thought to be unlikely that the killer will be caught, however.
“To person who has done it, hope you can sleep well knowing you have killed our love, family member and best friend to our son,” Ms Lauwers posted on Facebook.