Crufts 2016: Furore as judge awards top prize to dog co-owned by her sister

Judge Di Arrowsmith awarded the best gundog prize to a dog bred by her sister, Josie Baddeley.

Matt Payton
Monday 14 March 2016 21:08 GMT
Judge Di Arrowsmith (second right) next to the winner the Gundog category, Lourdace Fulcrum the Gordon Setter
Judge Di Arrowsmith (second right) next to the winner the Gundog category, Lourdace Fulcrum the Gordon Setter (Crufts/YouTube)

A judge at this year's Crufts has been criticised for awarding the best of the gundog category to her sister's dog.

Di Arrowsmith awarded this prize to Lourdace Fulcrum, a four-year-old Gordon Setter bred and co-owned by Josie Baddeley, her sister.

Known normally as James, the four-year-old dog had been the first ever winner of the Vulnerable British & Irish Breeds competition to reach the Gundog final.

Critics have attacked the Kennel Club, who run Crufts, for allowing Ms Arrowsmith to judge an event within which her sister was competing.

One dog owner wrote online: "Most exhibitors who adhere to decent standards of behaviour don't enter under judges who are related to them, either by family or marriage."

Another wrote: "The decent thing to do is to withdraw from the group judging. OK, so that sucks at a big show like Crufts, but it's still the right thing to do."

An experienced judge, Ms Arrowsmith has defended her decision claiming it would be have been"dishonest" to have not awarded her sister's dog, MailOnline reported.

Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko said in a statement: "Any dog that is chosen as a winner is done so because of the judge's honest opinion on the day and is judged with integrity.

"James, the Gordon setter, was judged by two judges before being chosen as the winner of best-in-group for gundog breeds."

The 2016 Crufts winner of the gundog category being examined for Best-in-Show (Crufts 2016/YouTube)

She added: "Before getting to that stage of the competition, he first won the open dog class, then won best dog and went on to win best-of-breed. This was chosen by the breed judge.

"On the same day, James also won the first ever Vulnerable British & Irish Breeds competition, beating 25 other dogs of various breeds. This was judged by a previous best-in-show judge at Crufts."

Ms Kisko pointed out to the Express & Star that James has previously won "22 challenge certificates and best-of-breed on 18 occasions."

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