A Blackpool-bred poodle has landed the world’s most prestigious dog show prize.
Ricky – a two-year-old standard poodle – last night triumphed over six other best-in-group winners to be judged this year’s Best-in-Show at Crufts.
Impeccably turned out Ricky – whose more formal name is Afterglow Maverick Sabre – and his handler, Jason Lynn, were given the nod by the best-in-show judge Jack Bispham after being assessed for overall health, condition, coat, character, temperament and movement.
Speaking immediately after the result was declared at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, Jason, who co-owns the champion with Michael Gadsby, confirmed Ricky would now be retired from competition in the UK.
Jason said: “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
“He gave an absolutely beautiful performance and I am so proud of him.”
Jason and Michael set up Lilliput Kennels on Moss House Lane, Westby, as well as their showdogs company Afterglow Showdogs.
Jason added: “He was top dog all breeds last year and we decided that this would be his last show – and he has ended it in the most wonderful way possible.”
Before the victory, Michael described Ricky as “a regular dog that we can take to the park and let off the lead”.
He earned his place in the Best-in-Show ring by winning Crufts’ utility dog category.
Ricky fought off competition from a Pomeranian, a wire fox terrier, an Irish Wolfhound, a Samoyed, a Rottweiler and an American Cocker Spaniel.
Around 2,500 dogs from 45 countries took part in this year’s Crufts.