There was a worthy winner at Holyrood today as Leo, a three month-old Cocker Spaniel was crowned winner of the prestigious Holyrood Dog of the Year competition.
Maurice Golden, who entered the event with Leo, is the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party MSP for West of Scotland. Leo impressed the judges with his charming nature and devotion to his owner and his constituents.
The annual Holyrood Dog of the Year competition, organised by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, took place today in the Scottish Parliament gardens at Horse Wynd, Edinburgh. Leo showed dogged determination as he battled it out to defeat 10 ‘paw-litical’ opponents to win the coveted title of Holyrood Dog of the Year, arguably the most sought-after title in Scottish politics.
The MSPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public before meeting the expert judges to boast about their dog’s heroic deeds and acts of devotion.
Leo’s owner, Maurice, said “I am delighted to win Holyrood Dog of the Year. Leo is certainly the cutest dog but the main reason we are here is to highlight the importance of animal welfare. The work the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust do for animal welfare is amazing and we all need to rally round to continue making a difference for dogs.”
The judging panel – Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, the Kennel Club’s Bill Lambert, last year’s winner and current sponsor of the event, Emma Harper MSP – spent the morning with dogs from different political persuasions and ambitions.
Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust Veterinary Director said: “What a tremendous day celebrating all the wonderful dogs at Holyrood today. This is our second Holyrood Dog of the Year competition and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome, with so many MSPs taking part. It was an incredibly tough decision but Leo and Maurice really stood out for us and they should be very proud of their win. We would like to thank all the MSPs and the dogs for taking part.”
Bill Lambert from the Kennel Club added: “Congratulations to Leo and Maurice for placing first at Holyrood today. It was a really close competition and the pair clearly had a strong bond which really impressed the judges. All the MSPs and their dogs who took part were worthy winners and the competition is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the issues affecting man’s best friend today and highlights the unique relationships between MSPs and their dogs. We wish Leo all the best for the year ahead, reigning as Scotland’s top dog.”
Second place was awarded to Christine Grahame MSP and a Pomeranian from Dogs Trust called Chloe, with Mark Griffin MSP and his Beagle, Alfie in third place.