Old English Sheepdog from Italy wins place in Crufts Best in Show final

Delia, an Old English Sheepdog from Italy, and her handler, breeder and co-owner Matteo Autolitano, won the Pastoral group title at Crufts 2023 today (Friday 10 March), qualifying them for one of just seven places in the Best in Show final on Sunday evening.

The Old English Sheepdog is classed as ‘at watch’ on The Kennel Club Vulnerable Native Breed list having between 300 and 450 registrations a year.

Delia (Ch Airzeppeline Delia), aged seven, co-owned by Matteo Autolitano, Louisa Mayssoyianni and Nikolas Kanales 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 this weekend, as the final is shown live on Channel 4 and available to be streamed on the official Crufts YouTube Channel.

Over 19,000 dogs are competing at Crufts for one of just seven places in the final and a chance to win the most celebrated title in the world of dogs.

Proud handler Matteo said: “Delia comes from a pedigree of winners, she is such a great dog, and this really means a lot to us.

"She loves everybody and just enjoys life. She lives by the sea, and when she is not showing she really loves swimming. This has been such a wonderful experience for us today and we can't wait for Best in Show on Sunday!”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Many congratulations to Delia and Matteo on winning the Pastoral group title today. With just seven spots available, 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, which Matteo and Delia really showed in the ring today.”

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