Boyhood dream comes true for Crufts winner
Published 11/03/2013 | 08:28
A boyhood dream came true for breeder Gavin Robertson after his dog won the Best in Show crown at Crufts.
Mr Robertson, breeder of Basset Griffon Vendeen Jilly, said he had been attending the dog show since he was boy and had always wanted to win the prestigious prize.
As photographers snapped the pair on the podium after they were presented with the all important trophy, Mr Robertson took a call from his wife Sara and their two children Oliver, six and Erin, three, congratulating the pair on their win.
Mr Robertson, from Oxfordshire, beat more than 20,000 dogs over the four-day competition to take the coveted title of Best in Show at Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham.
Four-year-old Jilly won the Best Hound category then went on to be pronounced Best in Show after four days of competition.
"I'm completely floating on air. It's just a wonderful, wonderful feeling. I didn't think I'd actually ever be sat next to this trophy so yes fantastic," Mr Robertson said.
"I can't express it. I've thought about this since I was a little boy.
"I've come to this show since I was a little boy and every year I've watched and thought I'd love to be in that place and that position. To finally be here, well, it doesn't feel real."
He said he had decided months before the competition to retire Jilly after Crufts.
"I just wanted her to enjoy the whole occasion. It's her last show. I'd already decided months ago that I would retire her no matter what she got so it's fantastic, you couldn't ask for a script like that. What a way to stop."
He said the dog didn't like to stand for any length of time but her performance was fantastic.
"She has a tendency to fidget but she was relaxed and chilled out and I couldn't have asked for a better performance."
Describing her at home, Mr Robertson said: "She's a fun dog, happy, a very active and busy little dog, they're like that as a breed so she's always on the go".
But it isn't the end of an era just yet for Jilly as Mr Robertson is hoping to breed her later this year and hinted at the possibility of those being showed at Crufts in the future.