A dog named Magic Mike, who lives with Sara Robertson in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, has won Best in Show at the prestigious West of England Ladies’ Kennel Society (WELKS) championship dog show in Malvern, Worcestershire.
The three-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, whose official Kennel Club name is Champion Soletrader Magic Mike, beat 8,615 other dogs to claim the title at one of the UK’s largest dog shows. Mike is owned by Sara in partnership with Wendy Doherty of Ontario, Canada.
This success follows Mike’s Best in Show win at the large Manchester championship show in Stafford in January and has helped secure his position as one of the UK’s top show dogs of 2018.
He was handled to both victories by Sara who has competed at dog shows since childhood. Her husband Gavin is no stranger to success either, as he handled Mike’s mother Jilly to Best in Show at Crufts in 2013, proving the old adage that ‘success breeds success’.
Gavin and Sara’s two children, Oliver, 11, and Erin, 8, were both at the Malvern event and able to cheer on Mike and their mother from the ringside.
The Kennel Club recognises 221 breeds of pedigree dog. The rough-coated Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen – usually referred to as the PBGV by devotees of the breed – was originally bred to trail hare in the bramble-filled terrain of the Vendée district of France. They are active, happy and independent and also willing to please.
Being a hound breed, they do need regular walks, not only to stimulate their brains but also to use their noses in different areas. However, care must be taken to exercise them only in enclosed spaces or on a lead, as otherwise, being a pack animal (which means they get on well with other PBGVs), they may run away. Their casual-looking coat requires a quick brush once a week to remove any loose and dead hair.
Sara said: “WELKS must be a lucky show for us as Mike won Reserve Best in Show there last year. The final line-up was super and it was an absolute thrill to win under such respected judges. The win was made even more special as our children were there to celebrate with us too.”
For more information on all 221 breeds of pedigree dog, and to find out which breed of dog might suit your lifestyle, visit our Breeds A to Z.