Here’s our pick of the cream of the crop – we’ve selected our 10 favourite Best in Show winners from past Crufts. Who would have made your list?
10. 1928 – Greyhound, Primley Sceptre
This gorgeous red female greyhound took home the first ever Best in Show trophy. Primley was owned by millionaire Herbert Whitley, who made his fortune in the brewing industry and also founded Paignton Zoo.
9. 1970 – Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Bergerie Knur
Also known as Grant, this stunning Pyrenean Mountain Dog scooped the overall trophy after triumphing in the Working Dog Group. Grant was the first Pyrenean to win the grand prize at Crufts and was handled by Mr and Mrs F S Prince.
8. 1968 – Dalmatian, Fanhill Faune
We’re dotty for this Dalmatian, who scooped the main prize back in 1968 – and is still the only Dalmatian to ever be awarded with Best in Show.
7. 2006 – Australian Shepherd, Caitland Isle Take A Chance
Aussie Shepherds are simply stunning creatures, and back in 2006 the judges agreed that blue merle Chance was the best of the best. Chance travelled all the way from California with owner Nancy Resetar to scoop the grand prize.
6. 2011 – Flatcoated Retriever, VBOS The Kentuckian
Also known as Jet, this fun-loving flatcoat from Scotland faced down 21,422 other dogs in the show’s 120th year to win Best in Show. Jim Irvine, Jet’s breeder said of the win, “I am over the moon, I can’t believe it,” and called it a “lifetime achievement.”
5. 1997 – Yorkshire Terrier, Ozmilion Mystification
You can’t beat a Yorkie – this chirpy chappie was known as Justin and at the time, was the smallest dog ever to win Best in Show.
4. 2002 – Standard Poodle, Topshore Contradiction
This Norwegian poodle known as King scooped the top accolade back in 2002, the first year after quarantine laws were relaxed, allowing foreign dogs to enter the competition. The The Best in Show judge for 2002, Pamela Cross, called him a “poodley poodle”.
3. 2000 – Kerry Blue Terrier, Torums Scarf Michael
Also known as Mick or Mike, this gorgeous terrier from Liverpool landed the ultimate prize back in 2000, and became the first dog to win the “triple crown” of dog shows – also landing the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in the USA and the AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational Championship. An astonishing sixty-one of his puppies have gone on to become show champions!
2. 1987 – Afghan Hound, Viscount Grant
Known as Gable, this stunning hound was owned by Chris Amoo of the band The Real Thing, who had a hit number 1 single with “You To Me Are Everything” back in 1976. Gable won Best in Show and £175 for his title – along with two ceremonial plates, which would be returned to the following year’s winner.
1. 1930/31 – English Cocker Spaniel, Luckystar of Ware
This handsome chap was awarded Best in Show not once but twice – retaining the title in 1931 – and the spaniel excellence didn’t stop with him Two other dogs from the “of Ware” kennel also did the double and scooped Best in Show at Crufts twice in their lives. This meant that owner Herbert Summer Lloyd won every Best in Show at Crufts between 1938 and 1950 (with time off for the two World Wars), and makes the English Cocker Spaniel the most successful breed to have taken part in the competition.
See other winners and learn about the history of the show over on Crufts’ website – did we miss out your favourite?