A dog breeder from Eaton Bray made sure it was a double celebration at this year’s Crufts after being given the opportunity to judge at the 125th anniversary of the world’s largest dog show.
Sue Mitchell, 64, adjudicated the Gordon Setter breed at Birmingham’s NEC last week, continuing the relationship her family has with Crufts,.
Few people can boast more experience than Sue and her father, with the latter’s initial appearance dating back more than 80 year.
“My father was an exhibitor at Crufts from around 1932 up until the start of the second World War,” said Mrs Mitchell.
“I came across all his prize cards and some photographs, and I was interested from then on. I’ve qualified with all of my dogs at Crufts since 1979, and this year I was amazed to have the honour of judging at the 125th show.
“He’s not here any longer but I think he’d be very proud of me doing this.”
Mrs Mitchell has had Gordon Setters since the 1970s, while also being a judge from the next decade. She also spent 24 years on the British Gordon Setter Club Committee, during which time she was also club president.
And it seems her Crufts judgement was well-balanced with her favourite, James, later going on to win the Best in Group award for the gundogs and earning a place in the Best in Show final from among 22,000 happy, healthy dogs.
“I judged the Gordon Setters, and we’ve had some very happy winners so it’s been a very enjoyable day,” she continued.
Having spent almost 40 years attending Crufts, Mrs Mitchell is pleased of the way the event has developed.
“Crufts is moving forwards all the time, there’s always new innovations, new breeds to see and I think it gives the public a great insight into what goes on. That’s one of the things that makes it well-respected around the world.”