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Dog whose tail 'never stops wagging' wins top prize at Crufts 2023

winner of best in show, the lagotto romagnolo, orca poses for photographs at the trophy presentation for the best in show event on the final day of the crufts dog show at the national exhibition centre in birmingham, central england, on march 12, 2023 photo by oli scarff afp photo by oli scarffafp via getty images
Lagotto Romagnolo wins top prize at Crufts 2023Oli Scarff - Getty Images

A dog whose tail "never stops wagging" has been crowned Best in Show at Crufts 2023, beating more than 19,000 pups from around the world to claim the top prize.

Orca, a four-year-old curly coated Lagotto Romagnolo, is the first ever win at Crufts for a dog of that breed. She wowed judges on Sunday 12 March 2023 at the NEC in Birmingham, and was also the winner of the gundog group earlier in the show.

"I have worked for the last 20 years to achieve something like this in my life," Gonzalez Mendikote from Croatia, Orca's handler, told ITV News. "So I think it's really special and even more… with Orca. I'm sure we will have a huge party."

Crufts show manager Vanessa McAlpine added: "Tonight's final has been a fantastic way to end another triumphant year for Crufts.

"Congratulations to Orca who helped end this year's competition on a real high, taking the coveted best in show award alongside her handler, Javier. The pair are very deserving winners and it was clear to see their strong relationship together in the ring."

winner of best in show, the lagotto romagnolo, orca during the best in show event on the final day of the crufts dog show at the national exhibition centre in birmingham, central england, on march 12, 2023 photo by oli scarff afp photo by oli scarffafp via getty images
Oli Scarff - Getty Images

The first Best in Show competition took place in 1928, when Greyhound Primley Sceptre was awarded the top prize. Since then, there have been 78 Best in Show winners, with 43 different breeds taking home the trophy.

crufts best in show winner 2023
Oli Scarff

Other winners at the greatest dog show in the world include Archie the Dobermann (working), Blondie the English Sheepdog (Pastoral), Blanca Wire Fox Terrier, Paris the Irish Wolfhound (Hounds), Jake the Standard Poodle (Utility) and Dublin the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Toy).

Organised by The Kennel Club, Crufts celebrates the unique relationship that dogs share with their owners, encouraging the breeding of healthy dogs. Highlights include dog-related goods and services, plus competitions in dog agility, obedience, flyball and heelwork to music.


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