AN “exceptional” hound from Fordingbridge provided his owners with an “unbelievable” best of breed win at Crufts.
Dachshund Willowheath Hendrix, aged six, gave enthusiasts Penny and Dave Young their best result in 30 years of showing after wowing the judges with his silky locks.
The couple also scooped second place in the limit class for dachshund bitches with Lulu, two, and third in the yearling bitch class with Foxy Music, aka Hayley, two.
Mrs Young said: “It was unbelievable – in 30 years this is our best result yet.
“Hendrix - all our dogs are named after bands or singers – got best of breed at the Midland Counties championships last year.
“My father showed fox terriers, then I married and had a family then went back to it.
“It’s just a hobby, but then you’re smitten if you win.
“We’re now retired so we have more time for the occasional litter – it’s a real honour to own such beautiful dogs.”
The only preparation Hendrix had was a shampoo, proving him to be a natural winner.
Mrs Young added: “They are pet dogs first and show dogs second.
“But Hendrix loves it – he’s a real show-off.”
Dog groomer Nicky Walton from Ringwood also did well, winning the Reserve Bitch Challenge Certificate with her doberman Remesca's Perfect Timing at Dabell's, aka Kiki, three.
Kiki got third in the open class last year and best pup in breed the year before that, which makes her poised to become a champion.
Miss Walton said: “I’ve been showing since 2001 and had dobermans for 18 years.
“I’ve just got one dog at the moment, and she’s won five challenge certificates, two reserve certificates, four best of breeds and two best in shows.
“Every time she gets a ticket I cry my eyes out.
“She makes me so proud and overwhelmed.
“I’m not one of the top breeders – she’s my pet first and show dog second.”
Gina Salisbury from Ringwood won a first in the post graduate bitch class with her dachshund Brocklewood Calypso, aka Cally, two.
Her nine-month-old pup Lulu also got a fifth in the special puppy class.
Rita Allum from Ringwood won a second in the yearling bitch class with Rokeover Fair Dinkum Del Macarica, an Italian spinone she calls Vera, 18 months.
And Kim Parris from Ashley Heath won two seconds in the working gundogs classes with her bracco Italianos Bonario Baroque, aka Cully, six, and Bonario Denarius Bentley, known as Bentley, aged 22 months.
Mrs Parris decided to try the working dogs category for a change after winning best bitch last year.