Veteran dog has his day... and qualifies for Crufts

RannochA local dog has proved the theory that you improve with age after beating off competition from thousands of younger dogs to win the crowning achievement of his dog showing career, at the Birmingham National Championship Show on the weekend.

Gordon Setter, Rannoch, from Quarter by Hamilton in Lanarkshire, is almost eight years old and has been taking part in dog shows since he was a puppy. But he won his biggest accolade to date by beating more than 2,000 dogs to win second place in the Best in the Gundog Group category. This his first Group placing in a Championship Show and means he qualifies for next year’s Crufts.

In order to beat the best dogs from the other Gundog breeds and to take the title, he first had to see off competition from 58 younger Gordon Setters, to win the Best of Breed crown. 

Rannoch will next go head to head with 30 other top Scottish Show Dogs to compete for the Scottish Kennel Club Show Dog of the Year, at the weekend.

Owner, Connie Ford, said: “It was a dream come true when Rannoch won his first group reserve at a Championship Show, this is his biggest achievement to date and I was as proud as punch. Rannoch is such an inspiration for us all – dog or human – because as the oldest Gordon Setter in his breed, he is clearly improving with age.

“I have no doubt that he did so well because the judges could see what a happy, healthy dog he is. We love going to dog shows together and it is great that Rannoch is able to set the standard for younger dogs and their breeders to aspire to.

“I’m now just hoping that this is his lucky year and that we can come home with our first Crufts victory - that really would be the icing on the cake.”

The Birmingham National Dog show is one of 37 General Championship Dog shows throughout the year that enable dogs to qualify for Crufts, in March 2010. The Birmingham National Show celebrated its 150th anniversary this year.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Commuications Director, said: “I am really pleased that Rannoch has done so well and is proving the theory that we do get better with age! Rannoch was bought from a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder and his success demonstrates just how important it is that people buy dogs from a responsible breeder, in order to ensure that they live long and healthy lives. Rannoch’s good start in life is has enabled him to grow into a healthy and well adjusted dog and this is clearly reaping rewards in the show ring.”