Little did I imagine when I first came to Crufts in the early 1970’s that I would one day have the huge honour of judging Best in Show at the world’s most famous dog show, and I still have to pinch myself now that it has actually happened – the pinnacle of every dog show judge’s career for which I am so grateful to the Crufts committee and The Kennel Club.
No effort was spared to make me extra welcome this year for this prestigious appointment as my original invitation for 2021 was brought forward leaving me also little time to be nervous!
My sincere thanks for this accolade and for making what was once a dog-loving Swedish schoolboy- and now a much older person- burst with pride and joy and to all the staff for making the show such a wonderful experience.
It is often said that one is spoilt for choice when judging dogs, but on this occasion, it really was true. I was excited to see my seven finalist parade on the famous green carpet and it gave me great pleasure to judge them one by one, all performing perfectly and in gleaming condition , each one living proof that that it is indeed possible to breed sound, healthy, typical dogs of excellent breed-type.
However, one star shone a little brighter than the others and was my winner at this year’s Crufts show, namely the wonderful Papillon…(please insert name!!)…. who put on a flawless performance demonstrating perfection of type, soundness, temperament and daintiness. He has the most glorious head and expression, perfect body and outline, sound legs and feet and perfect coat texture and a really good tail giving him a wonderful silhouette. His movement and sheer style mesmerized and stole my heart completely. I felt he was a very worthy winner of dogdom’s most coveted award.
The equally impressive charismatic Petit Basset Vendéen Ch Soletrader Magic Mike was my reserve Best in Show. He is another wonderful representative of his breed and demonstrates type and movement to perfection. I thought he was a very worthy winner of reserve Best in Show – so little separated these two glorious dogs whom I will remember for the rest of my life.
My grateful thanks also to the group judges from the remaining five groups who sent through top-class dogs for my appraisal, all wonderful examples of pedigree dogs and a joy to judge.
Dan Ericsson (judge)