A woman from Kent has taken the top trophy in the gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts 2012 which were run by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
Jo Izard and her German Shorthaired Pointer Jennaline Ello Jibble, known as Ellie, won the Northesk Memorial Trophy after going head-to-head in the main arena with winners of other gamekeepers’ classes.
She said she was thrilled to have won.
"It’s been an amazing day," she said. "It was very very emotional and I’m absolutely thrilled. Thrilled to bits.
"We love these dogs, especially when they are working dogs, they are your partners. They do work hard. Ellie did more than 50 days of picking-up last season. She really is a full -time working dog."
Mrs Izard, from Canterbury, and five-year-old Ellie qualified for best in class by winning the Dodson and Horrell trophy in the gamekeepers’ any variety point setter HPR (Hunt Point Retriever) class at the event at the NEC in Birmingham on Friday.
Mrs Izard, who runs a shoot with her husband Mark, was presented with the Northesk Memorial Trophy in the main arena by Bill Chudley, sales director of Dodson and Horrell. Dodson and Horrell owns the Chudleys dog food brand, which sponsors BASC’s gundog programme.
She also won the Subaru UK Ltd trophy for the best regional working gundog team along with two of her friends.
Mr and Mrs Izard have taken Ellie to Crufts every year since she was a puppy. Mrs Izard and Ellie came third overall in the gamekeepers’ classes last year and Ellie’s mother and grandmother are both show champions.
Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and gamekeeping, said: “Congratulations and thankyou to everyone involved in the BASC gamekeepers’ and working gundog classes.
“Uniquely all of the dogs which took part had just finished a busy shooting season. BASC’s rings at Crufts provide a showcase of working gundogs and give their handlers an opportunity to show these animals in their prime.
“As the UK’s largest shooting organisation, having a presence at the world’s largest dog shows gives BASC a stage on which to put these animals in front of a global audience."
For a full list of BASC results and a YouTube video of the gamekeepers’ finalists in the main arena at Crufts 2012, click here.