Twister whips up a storm at Crufts

Curly coated retriever Twister was a whirlwind success at Crufts 2020, being crowned overall winner of the BASC gamekeepers’ classes.

The five-year-old beat off tough competition from five other finalists in the main arena on gundog day to win the Northesk Memorial Trophy.

Twister is owned by husband and wife team, gamekeeper Brian Twigger and dog groomer Dawn Hall, and spent 19 days picking-up last season.

Dawn, who judged BASC’s gamekeepers’ classes in 2015, said she was “really pleased” that Twister had won and found it “lovely” that her husband had a chance to take him in the main arena.

As well as winning big at Crufts, Twister is also a registered blood donor dog and has been donating for the past three years. 

On giving blood, Dawn said: “It’s as important as it is for humans. I’ve been taking my other dogs for 10 years after hearing about it. The blood is donated at the vets and given to dogs who have had operations or been involved in accidents.”

The couple from Leicestershire have won the Northesk Memorial Trophy twice before – in 2007 and 2013 with their flat coated retrievers. Twister has been attending gundog day for the past four years.

They were presented with their trophy in the main arena by BASC vice chair Claire Sadler, who said: “I was hugely impressed by everyone who took part. Congratulations to Twister, Dawn and Brian and all the other fantastic entrants.”

BASC gundog officer Toni Paull said: “It was great to see once again how popular the gamekeepers’ classes were at Crufts for both entrants and spectators. It’s an amazing chance to showcase working gundogs to a wide audience.

“Crufts is the biggest dog show on Earth and the BASC run-gamekeeper classes at Crufts allow the promotion of working gundogs to the tens of thousands of visitors annually. Competing at Crufts is a highly sought-after accolade and the BASC gamekeeping classes give us a chance to showcase these dogs in their prime to an audience which may not be aware of the great work that they do.

“Entry to our classes is restricted to gundogs which have worked on shoots throughout the season.

“Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone involved with the BASC gamekeepers’ and working gundog classes for making 2020 another successful and enjoyable year.”

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