James, a Gordon Setter and owner David Alcorn from Fife, Scotland, won the grand final of the first ever Kennel Club Vulnerable British & Irish Breeds competition at Crufts this evening and then went on to win Best in Group for Gundog breeds qualifying them for a place in the Best in Show final on Sunday.
David Alcorn and James (Sh Ch Lourdace Fulcrum JW), aged 5 won the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition and Best in Group for Gundog breeds in front of a packed Genting Arena at the NEC in Birmingham.
David commented on his magnificent evening: “This has been an incredible day, really fantastic. It’s been non-stop and James has never stopped performing. He loves the big ring and the atmosphere and he always rises to the challenge. Winning the Vulnerable British & Irish Breeds competition and then going back into the main arena for the gundog group is the stuff dreams are made of.”
Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, is credited with establishing the breed we now know as the Gordon Setter. Some records show the early version of the Gordon Setter was first recorded as long ago as the sixteenth century.
Gordon Setter numbers decreased during the first half of the 20th Century, as the large shooting estates went into decline. In 1923 only 54 Setters were registered with the Kennel Club. During this period the Gordon Setter was rarely seen outside Scotland. By the end of the Second World War the Gordon was becoming more popular as a family pet rather than a working gundog. However, in 2015 only 234 Gordon Setters were registered with the Kennel Club and it is therefore considered to be a vulnerable breed.
The Kennel Club launched the new competition to raise awareness of these breeds and to recognise those who are dedicated to their survival and prosperity.
James and David will return to the Genting Arena at the NEC in Birmingham for the final of the 125th Anniversary of Crufts. People around Britain and the world will be watching to see which dog is crowned Best in Show as the final is shown live on Channel 4 and is streamed on the official Crufts YouTube Channel - www.youtube.com/crufts.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Congratulations to James and his owner David on this fantastic achievement. To win two major competitions is an incredible achievement. James is doing a fantastic job of promoting the breed on the world’s largest stage and we wish him all every success for Best in Show.”