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Gamekeeper takes Crufts honours for second year running

BASC Gamekeeper Richard Mace and his dog "Purbarn Hail in the Storm" have taken the top honours in the gamekeeping classes at Crufts for the second year running.

The classes, run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation are a showcase for working gundogs at the world’s most prestigious dog show. In all more than 250 dogs were entered in the gamekeepers’ ring at Crufts 2006.

Gamekeeper winners from different classes throughout the day are judged in a final show in the main arena to determine which dog will take the Northesk memorial trophy.

Mr. Mace and Hail, a 4-year-old Golden retriever, from Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire have beaten the odds to emerge as overall winners for the second year running.

Sheila Gussey, BASC Gundog co-ordinator said "We had a record number of entries in the BASC gamekeepers’ ring at Crufts this year and the standard of competition was very high. I am delighted for Richard. It’s a great achievement to come through such a strong field. To do it twice in two years is remarkable. I’d like to thank everyone who entered and made the event such a spectacular showcase for working gundogs."

Richard said "It’s the third time the dog has won this trophy – he first took it in 2003 when he was 14 months. To do it once was something, to win twice in a row is an amazing feat but I’m more pleased for the dog – he was injured in a road crash at just over a year old. He’s recovered and now he’s doing all this."