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WATCH: ‘Class clown’ Labrador from Inverness wins ‘best in class’ for gundogs at Crufts

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Emma Bamford and Tweed won 'best in class' for gundogs at Crufts.
Emma Bamford and Tweed won 'best in class' for gundogs at Crufts.

An Inverness woman and her canine companion won ‘best in class’ at this year’s ultimate dog show, Crufts.

The pair were amongst almost 20,000 dogs recognised at this year’s event in Birmingham.

Emma Bamford (32) and her four-legged friend, Tweed (Nithvalley Tweed at Foxhope) won gold at their first-ever outing together at the world’s biggest dog show.

Tweed managed to win the hearts of the judges at Crufts as he is known to be the ‘class clown’ of the Inverness gundog community.

Emma said: “We had a lot of attention before even entering the ring at Crufts. I got my best friend to escort Tweed for me because he is a little bit of a mummy’s boy and he would have just looked at me the whole time we were there.

“Tweed rolls on his belly for anybody, he’s not fussy about that, so he went over to the judge at Crufts and rolled over on his belly. There’s a picture of him on his belly looking absolutely delighted with the judges arms in the air.

“The judge was really nice and thought it just showed Tweed’s personality, which was lovely because Tweed isn’t a serious dog, he is just a really happy class clown.

“Everyone in the audience just laughed and it was so lovely to see.”

The Labrador retriever, from Inverness, was crowned overall winner of the British association for shooting and conservation (BASC) gamekeepers’ classes after beating five other finalists.

After winning the competition, Emma was on ‘cloud nine’ as she never anticipated even making it into the final arena.

She said: “I still can’t believe that we won, I spent a while questioning if it actually happened as it has been such a whirlwind, but it’s been incredible.

“The feedback online has just been so positive which is lovely as to be a gundog kennel is always met with such negativity and it’s so nice to go to BASC and have people see that we really do love our dogs and they are treated so well.

“Our dogs are very much a part of our family, we even had them at our wedding, so I will always get the best I can give them.

“That’s why it was just so nice to be supported by people outside of the gundog working community.”

A spokesperson from PureFlax, who sponsored Foxhope Gundogs, added: "We are all over the moon for Emma and the team.

"PureFlax has worked closely with Emma for around three years, and these results are thoroughly deserved."

While Tweed is a working dog, he is also ‘very much a part of the Bamford family’ and never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Emma and her canine companion, Tweed.
Emma and her canine companion, Tweed.

When describing Tweed, Emma said: “Tweed is quite the joker when it comes to training. He will do things like he will pick the dummy up, roll on his back, wag his tail and not be quite the serious gundog we all hope our gundogs are.

“But, Tweed always has something to make funny and smile about which is what made me take him to the gamekeepers welfare charity as even on the coldest days he will find something that’s joyful.”

Emma is now eager to take Tweed back to Crufts next year as it was a ‘really enjoyable experience’ and is keen to expand her expertise into breeding.

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