A Border Collie named Freddie from Northamptonshire has won Best in Show at one of Britain’s largest dog shows, despite having previously been given only a matter of weeks to live when he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
It was a fairytale victory for Hannah Fawcett from Thrapston when she handled Freddie, whose official Kennel Club name is Laceway Lone Ranger, to his success at Leeds championship show held at Harewood House in West Yorkshire. Freddie was bred by Hannah’s mother Pat Hales who was at the ringside to cheer his surprise win.
Three years ago Freddie was struck down with lymphoma when he was two-thirds of the way to winning his show champion title, and was given just 12 weeks to live even with chemotherapy. However, following 16 weeks of treatment at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, Suffolk he went into remission.
Freddie’s success was made even more special by the fact that he is now seven years old and therefore competes in the veteran category, and achieved his official show champion title (for dogs which have been chosen as the best dog or bitch in their breed at three separate shows) with this win.
Hannah said: “The most important thing in the world to me is Freddie’s health, which is why I made the long journey from Thrapston to Newmarket every week for four months. However, Freddie absolutely loves going to dog shows, so we thought it might be fun to go to a few this summer. After all we’ve been through, I never expected he would win Best in Show and become a champion. It’s a dream come true.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The bond between Hannah and Freddie is plain for all to see and this is a wonderful of story of hope triumphing against the odds. Freddie appears to be a picture of glowing health now and we wish him and Hannah all the very best for the future.”
Leeds championship show attracted an entry of 7,732 individual dogs this year, making it one of the largest events of its kind licensed by the Kennel Club each year at which dogs can qualify for the following year’s Crufts.