Will’s paw-fect day as he lands top dog at Crufts

Dave Killilea from Doncaster with his Akita, Will, the best of breed winner at Crufts 2014.
Dave Killilea from Doncaster with his Akita, Will, the best of breed winner at Crufts 2014.

There was no woof justice as a Doncaster dog’s debut at Crufts proved to be a tail with a pawfect ending.

Will, an 18-month-old Akita, saw off all comers to romp to victory in ‘best of breed’ at the world famous dog show.

Will proved every dog really does have its day after walking away with the honour at the globe’s most prestigious canine competition.

The family pet was one of more than 21,500 happy, healthy dogs that descended on the NEC in Birmingham for the world’s biggest dog show, presented by the Kennel Club, and put his best paw forward to claim the best of breed award.

Owners David and Jenny Killilea, of Doncaster Road, Owston, and Will fought off competition from a host of other Akitas to scoop the coveted prize. And 67-year-old Jenny was left beaming with pride at Will’s performance in front of huge crowds at the annual competition.

“I can’t believe Will has won best of breed on his first appearance at Crufts. It’s unbelievable,” she said.

“Will means everything to me and I’m so proud of what he has managed to achieve.

“We’ve been coming to Crufts for a long time and the atmosphere is amazing. To win here is just so special.”

David was just as delighted at his pet’s victory.

He said: “He has done really well. For a young dog like this to be top in his group is superb.

“For a young dog to take the lights and the heat, with this coat and this weight, it’s difficult for him, but he was really good out there.

“He is like a cat to live with – spotless, clean and he eats well.

“We’ve done well – it has been a really good day.”

This year’s Crufts attracted dog lovers from all walks of life, with 45 overseas countries represented throughout the four-day show.

The yearly event, named after dog biscuit boss Charles Cruft, who founded the contest back in 1891, has gone from strength to strength over the years, attracting increasing numbers of entries and huge crowds.

Cruft travelled to dog shows in the United Kingdom and internationally, which allowed him to establish contacts and understand the need for higher standards for dog shows.

The first show, named Cruft’s Greatest Dog Show, was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, London, and attracted around 2,000 dogs and almost 2,500 entries.

The most prestigious prize of all is ‘best in show’ with this year’s prize being claimed by poodle Afterglow Maverick Sabre.

A number of celebrities also dropped by to sample the competition, including TV personality Amanda Holden, former EastEnders actress Pam St Clement, and 2012 Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford.