Portrait of Baxer, 2022 Best in Show winner, presented at Crufts 2023

A portrait of last year’s Crufts Best in Show winner, Int Ch Almanza Backseat Driver, a Flat Coated Retriever known at home as Baxer, was unveiled at Crufts 2023 yesterday evening (Thursday 9 March) in the Resorts World Arena at the NEC, Birmingham.

Artist Anne Zoutsos presented the painting to Crufts Chairman, Tom Mather, in front of thousands of spectators in the arena. Anne and Tom were joined for the presentation by the proud owner of Baxer, Patrick Oware.

Following the presentation, Patrick took home the original portrait and a limited edition print was transported to London to become part of The Kennel Club Art Collection and will soon be on display.

Anne Zoutsos is a full-time artist and has painted professionally for over 30 years. Anne is based in Surrey and her work, including paintings of wild animals and dog portraiture, can be found in collections all over the world.

Speaking after the presentation, Anne said: “I was delighted to be asked to paint the beautiful Baxer, the Flat Coated Retriever, more formally known as Multi Champion Almanza Backseat Driver who has gained an amazing amount of titles!

“Baxer was born in Sweden and lives in Norway and so, bearing this in mind, I decided to paint him with a view of the Sulitjelma mountain range in the background as they are on the border between Norway and Sweden. I also thought it would be nice to add a further nod to his nationality by including the little white flowers of pyramidal saxifrage, the national flower of Norway, and blue harebells, the national flower of Sweden.”

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