Pic: Megan Fox and Ruger (Credit: Nigel Kirby)

To the delight of many, four-year-old flat-coated retriever Ruger beat off competition from five other finalists to lift the coveted Northesk Memorial Trophy as Best In Show – Gamekeepers’ Ring at Crufts 2022

Ruger, or Satinbaze Cracksman For Blacktoft to give him his full name, is owned by gamekeeper Helen Fox and was handled throughout the day and evening by her daughter, Megan.

After a one-year absence due to coronavirus, the event made a welcome return this year and was even more hotly contested than usual.

Helen, who is gamekeeper on the Wheatley Grange shoot, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. Despite being four years old, Ruger has only just completed his first full season working on the shoot due to the stop-starts brought about by the pandemic.

“He’s thoroughly enjoyed the day and is a lovely dog to have around at home and to work in the field. We absolutely love the BASC classes at Crufts; there’s a great atmosphere and it’s a fantastic showcase for working dogs.”

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s three rings at Crufts were sponsored by Skinner’s, who also back the BASC gundog program.

Megan and Ruger were presented with their trophy by Will Delamore, sales and marketing director for Skinner’s.

Will said: “Skinner’s is delighted to be involved as a key sponsor of BASC and The Kennel Club for what is our fifth consecutive year supporting the working gundog and gamekeepers’ classes. Thorough congratulations to all the winners, it’s been a fantastic day and we can’t wait for next year.”

BASC gundog officer Kate Dymock added: “After a one year break it was great to see the BASC classes at Crufts in full swing again with a return of old faces and those new to the event. 

“Well done to all the winners of the Gamekeeper and Working Gundog classes and thank you for supporting the BASC rings once again.”

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