A Whippet named Khaleesi, owned by Kirsty Green and Ashley Place from Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire has won Best in Show at the prestigious Boston Championship Dog Show in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
The two-year-old bitch, whose official Kennel Club name is Collooney Queen Of Dragons with Brochinbelle, beat 5,295 other dogs to claim the title at one of the UK’s largest dog shows. Khaleesi was handled by Ashley who has competed at dog shows since childhood.
The Kennel Club recognises 219 breeds of pedigree dog. One theory on the origin of the Whippet is that the miners of Victorian north eastern England could not afford to keep Greyhounds for coursing, so they bred down from small Greyhounds and called the breed the Whippet, which in the 17th century was used to describe ‘a little cur’.
The original function of the Whippet was to course rabbits, and the Northern miners enjoyed gambling in their sport. Later when this was outlawed, the dogs were used for chasing lures or rags which were dragged down straight tracks or alleyways; this earned the breed the nickname of the ‘lightning rag dog’.
Although Whippet racing continues on a very minor scale, this dainty breed is now hugely popular. As a family companion, the Whippet is gentle and affectionate and enjoys the comforts of domestic life.
Ashley said: “It felt overwhelming when Khaleesi was chosen as Best in Show. If I had to use one word to describe her it would be ‘diva’, but that’s why she does so well at dog shows. Kirsty and I started showing Whippets when I was looking for a dog with which to compete in ‘junior handling’ classes and we fell in love with the breed and now have six in partnership together.”
For more information on all breeds of pedigree dog, and to find which breeds suit your lifestyle, visit our Breeds A to Z.