Percy, a Pointer cross owned by Amanda Bell from Sheffield has won the Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year title at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts on Saturday.
Percy was one of six crossbreed finalists in the national Scruffts competition, which is exclusively supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved. undreds of dogs competed in qualifying heats around the country, but only six lucky dog owners, who won their class at the semi-finals at Discover Dogs in London last October, were able to head to the tense final in the main arena at Crufts.
Percy was given a second chance at life after Amanda Bell and her father, Michael, found him in a very bad way on a street in Cyprus.
Having been shot multiple times, unable to stand, suffering with failing kidneys and weighing only 9 kilos, Amanda and Michael arranged for Percy to travel to the UK, with his chances of survival looking uncertain.
Having been with the family in Sheffield for over six months, Percy is now recovering well and despite being very poorly and frightened when first arriving in the country, the family have built up trust and bonded with Percy and where he once was too scared to go further than the garden gate, they have since helped him to achieve his Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Bronze award and, of course, stand in the ring in the Scruffts final.
Thrilled Amanda said: “I’m a bit overwhelmed! Percy is so special, I’m so proud of him. Walking in that arena was such an amazing experience.”
Singer, presenter and dog lover Michael Ball and dog judge Gerald King judged the six finalists on qualities such as good character, health and temperament with people and other dogs.
On the difficult decision of choosing the winner, Michael Ball said: “They’re all gorgeous, so it was an impossible decision.
"Percy is so calm, kind, you look into his eyes and he’s so grateful. It’s a testament as much to Amanda as it is to him.”
The Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year competition is run by the Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, and caters exclusively for crossbreed dogs: dogs whose parents are of two different breeds, or a mixture of several breeds.
Throughout 2018, 15 heats of the popular Scruffts contest took place at events around the country in search of crossbreeds with that extra special something.
During the course of the year, over 1,300 dogs took part, raising nearly £4,000 for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and the chosen charities of the heat hosts. The winners of each heat received delicious James Wellbeloved goodies for their dog.
The six finalists were:
Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog: Teddy the Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, owned by Tara Ellison from Dagenham, East London
Good Citizen Dog Scheme: Maple the Golden Retriever/Poodle cross, owned by Nikki Davis from Hayle, Cornwall
Golden Oldie Crossbreed: Zak the eighteen-year-old Border Collie/Spaniel cross, owned by Jazmine Green from Farnham, Surrey
Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch: Primrose the Lurcher, owned by Susan Herbert from Cirencester, East Gloucestershire
Child’s Best Friend: Ernie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Bichon Frise cross, owned by eleven year-old Elodie Baker from Thornbury, South Gloucestershire
Best Crossbreed Rescue: Percy the Pointer cross, owned by Amanda Bell from Sheffield.
As well as the Scruffts Crossbreed Family Dog of the Year title, Percy received a year’s supply of healthy hypo-allergenic dog food from James Wellbeloved.
James Wellbeloved marketing manager Arthur Renault said: "Huge well done to Percy and Amanda on becoming Scruffts champions. James Wellbeloved is very proud to be exclusive supporters of this wonderful competition which celebrates the nation’s most fabulous crossbreed dogs.
“The bond between the pair was clear to see and we hope they enjoy every moment of being a Scruffts champion.”
Scruffts is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which has awarded over £10 million worth of grants to benefit dogs since its inception in 1987. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs’ lives, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities.
To enter one of the 2019 heats, please visit the Crufts website to find one near you http://www.crufts.org.uk/content/whats-on/scruffts/