GALLERY: Dan’s the man! Fenland dog is crowned reserve best in show at Crufts
PUBLISHED: 12:34 10 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:11 10 March 2014
A dog from the Fens has been crowned the second best in the world after beating more than 21,000 to win reserve best in show at Crufts.
Dan the Man, a Samoyed, qualified for the final after winning a series of heats at the world-famous dog show at the weekend.
The three year old, whose official name is Ch Nikara Diamond Dancer JW, came second in the finals after being pitted against six other dogs.
Thousands of animals competed over four days at the NEC show for the chance to win the most celebrated title in the world of dogs.
Proud co-owner Sue Smith, from Upwell, said: “It was such a rush of excitement when the judge came over. Dan the Man is a very special dog and very easy to live with. He’s definitely a once in a lifetime dog.”
Mrs Smith, 60, who co-owns the dog with her friend Val Freer, were watched by thousands in the arena and millions more worldwide as it was televised live on Channel 4 and streamed on the official Crufts YouTube Channel.
Mrs Smith said: “We were up against very beautiful dogs and professional breeders and handlers so for a hobby breeder it’s fantastic.
“When the judge stepped up to me (to award Dan the reserve best in show award) it was just a feeling of disbelief. It was unreal.
“We’ve had so many well wishes and I’d like to thank everyone for them.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We were delighted to see Dan the Man chosen. He is such a lovely dog that clearly loves being in the show ring and has a great relationship with his handler.
“Reaching the Best in Show final at Crufts is a fabulous achievement for any dog.”
The Kennel Club, organiser of Crufts, is the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs.
At its heart are programmes and investments in education and health initiatives to help dogs across the UK to live long, healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.
The Kennel Club says that Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.