Breeder and pooch reach Cruft’s Best in Show final

Angie Allan with her Australian Shepherd Tiffany, who won Best in Group in the Pastoral group on the final day of Crufts 2013, at the Birmingham NEC.'' Photo by onEdition.
Angie Allan with her Australian Shepherd Tiffany, who won Best in Group in the Pastoral group on the final day of Crufts 2013, at the Birmingham NEC.'' Photo by onEdition.
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A dog breeder and her pooch are celebrating after they saw off thousands of other pairs to reach the final of an international competition.

Australian shepherd Tiffany was one of seven dogs to compete in the Best in Show final at this year’s Crufts, which was held at the NEC in Birmingham yesterday (Sunday).

The two-year-old canine was awarded a place in the final after she impressed the judges to win Best in Group for the Pastoral category. Handler Angie Allen, who runs Thorpe-by-Water Kennels and Cattery with her husband Neil, was delighted with her efforts.

Angie, 51, said: “To win an award at Crufts is so special.

“Tiffany was in top form and she’s just a natural show girl.

“The crowd were cheering and clapping and it was all very special. I had a tingle on the back of my neck when we performed.

“To have reached the last seven out of 22,000 is a fantastic achievement.

“Tiffany is only two years old and she’s has had a fantastic career already.

“She can be a bit naughty but she was on her best behaviour and really deserved it.”

More than 20,000 dogs competed over the four days of the show, which was eventually won by Jill, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.

The event was televised live on Channel 4 and watched by millions worldwide, as well as thousands in the arena.

It was not the first time Angie and Neil have competed at Crufts as they have entered dogs in the junior warrant competition for several years. Sunday’s performance, however, was the couple’s biggest achievement yet with any dog they have trained and bred.

Angie said she had been overwhelmed by the number of people across Rutland who had congratulated her and Tiffany.

She said: “Rutland’s a small county but I’ve had so many people sending messages of congratulations.

“It’s nice to have so much support in the county.”

Crufts is run by the Kennel Club, an organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs.

Director Caroline Kisko said: “We were delighted to see Tiffany chosen as the Best in Group winner. She is such a lovely dog and one that clearly loves being in the show ring and has a great relationship with her handler.”