A gamekeeper’s wife from Leicestershire and the couple’s dog have taken the top trophy in the gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts 2013, which were organised by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

Dawn Hall and flatcoated retriever CH Blacktoft Stray Cat Strut with Ghilgrange, known as Keeper, won the Northesk Memorial Trophy after going head-to-head in the main arena with other gamekeepers’ class winners. Mrs Hall and seven-year-old Keeper qualified for best in class by winning the BASC John George Memorial Trophy in the gamekeepers’ any variety retriever class at the event at the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday.

Mrs Hall was thrilled to have won. She said: "I am so pleased but I did not expect to win. The judge also owns flatcoats so knowing that makes you work harder. Keeper’s grandfather won in 2002 so I am delighted. Keeper is a steady dog and we can take him beating as well as picking up. He is an all-round working dog”

Mrs Hall has been showing dogs at Crufts for fifteen years. She first entered BASC’s gamekeepers’ classes seven years ago.

She was presented with the Northesk Memorial Trophy in the main arena by Bill Chudley, director of Dodson and Horrell.  Dodson and Horrell owns the Chudleys dog food brand, which sponsors BASC’s gundog programme.

Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and gamekeeping, said: “We saw an encouraging increase in entries this year and also held a scurry demonstration which was very well received. I would like to extend my congratulations and a special thank you to all those involved in the BASC gamekeepers’ and working gundog classes.”

“The BASC gamekeepers’ rings at Crufts provide a unique opportunity to see working gundogs that are in their prime having just come to the end of a busy shooting season.”

For a full list of BASC results, click here.


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