CRUFTS winners

Geraldine O'Driscoll''EDENMOUTH FARM NR KELSO with winning Pointer dog Sh. Ch. Fowington Five Bob
Geraldine O'Driscoll''EDENMOUTH FARM NR KELSO with winning Pointer dog Sh. Ch. Fowington Five Bob

BORDERS dog lovers showed they are barking up the right canine family trees.

For they scooped several best of breed tickets at the world-famous Crufts dog show in Birmingham last week.

A Galashiels golden retriever was judged the best of his breed and then went on to come fourth in the whole gundog group.

From Hawick, a Brittany spaniel took the top ticket in his breed and a pointer from Kelso topped his.

Proud retriever owners Ina Frater and Linsey Dunbar have showed Linirgor Mactavish – or Oscar to his friends – at Crufts for the last three years.

On the first visit he came fourth in his class, last year he won his class and this year the three-year-old dog took nearly all before him, winning his class, best dog, best of his breed and in a class of 31 in the best of breed gundogs final, he was pulled into the last eight and eventually placed fourth.

Mrs Frater said: “We are so proud of him. You see a lot of other breeders from around the world for whom this is a profession but here we have a wee dog from Galashiels bought as a pet, winning best of breed at Crufts.”

Also making the last eight in the gundog final was Peter and Geraldine O’Driscoll’s three-year- old pointer Bob from near Kelso. The homebred show champion took best of breed among 299 pointers at the renowned show.

Mrs O’Driscoll said: “Bob is a bit of a clown and loves to show off, so has the ideal temperament for the big ring at Crufts.

“He gained his show title at Manchester earlier this year and his Crufts win really put the icing on the cake. He’s now taking time to chill out, raise a family and start his field training with Peter [an “A” panel field trial judge].”

The couple are well known for their dual-purpose – show and field trial – pointers and have bred the only dual champion.

Near Hawick there are celebrations too for Alithea Lockie’s full champion Brittany spaniel dog Tournesol Braconnier. He took the best-in-breed ticket after winning the field trial class - and his daughter Fennel won the puppy class before going on to be judged reserve bitch.

Mrs Lockie thinks it was Bracon’s movement that especially caught the judge’s eye, adding: “He’s a very kind and nice dog to live with.”

Midlem-based Gillian Aynsley’s four-year-old Hungarian Vizler, Nutti (Sybaris Nutmeg of Wardshill JW ShCM), won her class at Crufts last year and won it again this year before going one better to take the reserve bitch ticket in her breed.

Jedburgh’s Jay Whitley at Fellside Kennels won the mid- limit Siberian Husky class with her eight-year-old dog Mjolfjell: “It’s always a bit special to win a first at Crufts, we were very pleased,” she said.

From Selkirk, Nicola Stillie and her bearded collie Gael were part of the large dog agility team which came second.

Miss Stillie said: “It was really good, especially considering we were against people who compete all over the world.”