Elee the Shiba Inu from Richmond, London stole the show at Crufts this weekend, getting a unanimous thumbs up from judges and winning the first ever Crufts Factor Competition.
Also on stage with Elee was her owner Delphine Lamalle, together they danced, performed tricks and played the djembe drum. Delphine, originally from Switzerland, now lives in Richmond, London. She has been training Elee using positive reinforcement methods, and the results were clear to see in their impressive performance in the NEC Arena at Crufts last night.
Delphine said: “I am delighted with the result, it was the first competition we have done and she did so well. It was amazing to perform in the Arena in front of so many people.”
The judging panel, made up of Anna Webb from BBC Radio London’s Barking at the Moon, Pippa Langhorne – a semi finalist in Britain’s Got Talent and celebrity vet, Marc Abraham were unanimous in their choice of winner. Other finalists, however also melted the hearts of the judges and audience alike. Two Dandie Dinmont Terriers showed their sporting finesse by playing football and hockey, and Teddy the Newfoundland played the tambourine whilst pulling a cart and skateboarding.
It was the first ever Crufts Factor this year and organisers were delighted with the response. 27 people submitted videos of their dogs with various talents, over 1000 people voted for their favourite and the NEC Arena on Saturday afternoon was packed.
The Kennel Club hope for a return of the Crufts Factor next year, so watch this space.
11th March 2012
Images of the winners can be downloaded from the fully managed online Press Office service World Wide Images at http://www.w-w-i.com/dfs_crufts_2011/.
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Notes to editors
Watch Crufts on More4 from 6.30pm – 9pm on 8th – 11th March. This will include all of the highlights from the Arena programme, including the presentation to the Friends for Life winner. Also watch Crufts live on the Crufts YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/Crufts.
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The Kennel Club, organiser of Crufts, is the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs. At its heart are programmes and investments in education and health initiatives to help dogs across the UK to live long, healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.
Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.