Gloucestershire woman crowned UK's best dog breeder at Crufts

A woman from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has won The Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition final at Crufts, the world’s greatest dog show, held on Thursday 9 March.

Averil Cawthera-Purdy, who was joined by handlers Sean Gwynne, Fay Matthews-Jones and Nichola Gooch, won the ultimate breeder’s title with her team of Lireva Pomeranians in front of a packed Resorts World Arena at the NEC. The team beat 39 other breeders who qualified for the final.

The competition, sponsored by Agria Pet Insurance, involved teams which accrued points at group and general championship shows in 2022. Points were compiled by Our Dogs, who published a regular leader board within their newspaper.

The judge of the final, Mr Sigurd Wilberg, selected Averil Cawthera-Purdy team of Pomeranians for the prize as the breeders with the best overall quality evident in their dogs. Each team comprised three or four dogs of one breed, all bred by the same breeder or breeding partnership.

Speaking about the win, Averil said: “I’m so happy, and I’m shocked as well. You hope, but you never expect to win. There was strong competition, but they went very well and they are a lovely team – to win is amazing.

“This competition is about breeding, so it’s not just about one dog but a group, and all ones that I’ve bred myself which makes it even more special. To me this is the pinnacle.”

Reserve best breeder was awarded to Patrick and Jacqueline Fielder, from Staffordshire, with their team of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers which they breed under the Cretshengan kennel name.

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “We are very pleased for Averil on her excellent achievement. She is a very talented breeder who puts the time and effort into developing sound breeding practices to produce healthy and happy dogs for the show ring. Her dogs are testament to her hard work and dedication to the breed.”

To find out more about the Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition, please visit the Crufts website or email Breed Shows (The Kennel Club) .

The following breeders qualified for the 2023 final at Crufts:


Hungarian Vizsla, Mr P Watson (Oakswarren) 

Hungarian Vizsla, Mr S & Mrs K Challis (Vizlanya) 

Pointer, Ms C O'Neill (Tenshilling) 

Retriever (Flat Coated), Mrs J Campbell (Ronevorg) 

Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling), Mrs T & Miss S Westwood (Eusanit) 

Retriever (Novia Scotia Duck Tolling), Mr P & Mrs J Fielder (Cretshengan) 

Spaniel (Welsh Springer), Ms A Chandler (Chanangel) 


Bernese Mountain Dog, Mr, Mrs & Miss Green (Waldershelf) 

Canadian Eskimo Dog, Ms R Bailey (Akna) 

Canadian Eskimo Dog, Ms S Atkins (Qimugta) 

Newfoundland, Mrs C & Mr D Baldock (Gunnersnewfs) 

Siberian Husky, Mrs R Simms (Arcticskies) 


Briard, Mrs C Foster (Fostebrie) 

Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Miss L Holmes (Lisjovia) 

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), Mesdames Lovell & Stevens (Coriend) 

Welsh Corgi (Cardigan), Miss J Down (Elessar) 



Bedlington Terrier, Ms S & Mr M Baldwin (Woolytop) 

Manchester Terrier, Mr C & Mrs G Knight (Talanors) 

Norfolk Terrier, Mrs R Gee (Watercroft) 

Parson Russell Terrier, Mrs J Newport (Digaden) 

Scottish Terrier, Ms V Norton (Divadell) 

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Mrs L Lui (Eblanahalls)  



Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit), Mr & Mrs R Foote & Miss E McAuley (Erylan) 

Dachshund (Miniature Smooth Haired), Mrs J & Miss R Cumberland (Mumysami) 

Harrier, Miss C Farrah (Henissy) 

Ibizan Hound, Miss V Woodcock (Abbotsoak) 

Irish Wolfhound, Miss W Heather (Whiteorchard) 

Pharaoh Hound, Mr S Hansen (Bazinga) 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Mr K Alexander (Kansenji) 

Whippet, Mrs K Williams (Tigsisle) 



Eurasier, Ms S Watkins (Albionspitz) 

German Spitz (Mittel), Ms K Andrew (Claran) 

Poodle (Miniature), Mrs K Watson Todd (Karocolin) 

Tibetan Spaniel, Ms A McDonald (Balgay)  

Tibetan Spaniel, Mrs P Smith (Torfness) 

Tibetan Terrier, Miss L Thomas (Kelmorespitz) 



Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mr A & Mrs C Rhodes (Calonlan) 

Coton De Tulear, Mrs J & Mr S Scott (Cukoton) 

Pomeranian, Mrs A Cawthera-Purdy (Lireva)  

Pug, Mrs K Storey (Rhodanash) 


The results of Crufts 2023 can be found online. For more information and results from the show, visit