A gamekeeper’s wife from Powys and the couple’s dog have taken the top trophy in the gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts 2011 which were run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
Tina Twist and her golden retriever Dikeadaze Alfredo, known as Alfie, won the Northesk Memorial Trophy.
They went head to head in the main arena with winners of other gamekeepers’ classes.
Mrs Twist and two-year-old Alfie 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 yesterday.
She said it felt “fantastic” to have won but said her prize winning appearance in the televised main arena made her nervous.
She said: “It was very scary in the ring, I could hardly hold the lead because I was shaking.
“I always enter the gamekeepers’ classes, it’s worth doing. I shall just carry on enjoying what I do and enjoying the dog. I love what I do, I feel very lucky.”
Mrs Twist, who is a dog groomer, was presented with the Northesk Memorial Trophy in the main arena by Sheila Gussey, who helped to establish and develop BASC’s presence at Crufts.
A gundog demonstration in the main arena which was organised by BASC was broadcast on national television, taking gundogs to a wider audience.
Tom Blades, BASC’s head of game and gamekeeping, said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in BASC’s gamekeepers’ and other gundog handler classes.
“Uniquely all of the dogs which took part have just finished a busy shooting season and BASC’s rings at Crufts provide a showcase of working gundogs and give their handlers an opportunity to show these animals in their prime.
“The UK’s largest shooting organisation having a presence at the world’s premier dog shows gives us a wonderful opportunity to put these animals in front of a global audience."
A film of BASC at Crufts 2011 can be viewed by clicking here.