Ruger outfoxes the competition at Crufts

Flat-coated retriever Ruger was crowned overall winner of the BASC Gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts 2022.

The Best in Show – Gamekeepers’ Ring winner Ruger – or Satinbaze Cracksman For Blacktoft to give him his full name, is owned by Helen Fox and was handled throughout the day and evening by her daughter, Megan.

After a one-year absence due to coronavirus, the event made a welcome return this year and was even more hotly contested than usual. It was the four-year-old flat-coated retriever who beat off the competition from the five other finalists in the main arena to take home the coveted Northesk Memorial Trophy.

Helen Fox, gamekeeper on the Wheatley Grange shoot and owner of Ruger, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. Despite being four years old, Ruger has only just completed his first full season working on the shoot due to the stop-starts brought about by the pandemic.

“He’s thoroughly enjoyed today and is a lovely dog to have around at home and to work in the field. We absolutely love the BASC classes at Crufts; there’s a great atmosphere and it’s a fantastic showcase for working dogs.”

BASC’s three rings at Crufts were sponsored by Skinner’s, who also sponsor the BASC gundog program.

Megan and Ruger were presented with their trophy by Will Delamore, Sales & Marketing Director for Skinner’s. Will said: “Skinner’s are delighted to be involved as a key sponsor of BASC and The Kennel Club for what is our fifth consecutive year supporting the working gundog and gamekeepers’ classes. Thorough congratulations to all the winners, it’s been a fantastic day and we can’t wait for next year.”

BASC gundog officer Kate Dymock added: “After a one year break it was great to see the BASC classes at Crufts in full swing again with a return of old faces and those new to the event.

“Well done to all the winners of the Gamekeeper and Working Gundog classes and thank you for supporting the BASC rings once again.”

Find out more about BASC at Crufts here.