Lagotto Romagnolo from Croatia wins place in Crufts Best in Show final

Orca, a Lagotto Romangnolo from Croatia, and her handler Javier Gonzalez Mendikote won the Gundog group title at Crufts 2023 today (Thursday 9 March), qualifying them for one of just seven places in the Best in Show final on Sunday evening.

Orca (Am GCh Kan Trace Very Cheeky Chic), aged four, owned by Sabina Zdunić Šinković and Ante Lucin, will return to the Resorts World Arena at the NEC Birmingham on Sunday, along with six other dogs to compete for the coveted Best in Show title at Crufts.

People around Britain and the world will be watching to see which dog is crowned Best in Show, as the final is shown live on Channel 4 and available to be streamed on the official Crufts YouTube Channel.

Over 19,000 dogs will compete over the next three days for one of just seven places in the Crufts final and a chance to win the most celebrated title in the world of dogs.

Proud handler Javier Gonzalez Mendikote said: “It is absolutely amazing, it is such a pleasure to win on the famous green carpet. Orca is such a happy dog, she is always wagging her tail and she made my part in this easy. We are very excited for Best in Show.”

Owner Ante Lucin said of the win: “I feel very emotional. Orca was second in group at Crufts in 2020, she was the second top dog in the States.

“She loves showing, she loves people, she is a once in a lifetime dog. We drove for 25 hours to be here and there will be a lot of celebrations tonight.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Many congratulations to Orca and Javier on winning the Gundog group title today. Earning a spot in the Best in Show final is an incredible achievement and the pair should be extremely proud of the hard work and wonderful bond they demonstrated this evening.

“Crufts celebrates healthy, happy dogs and recognises the special and unique relationship between dogs and their owners. Javier and Orca really demonstrated a close bond in the ring today and they showed great confidence.”

Crufts takes place from 9 -12 March 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information and results from the show, visit the Crufts website.