North East Westie 'Geordie Girl' wins best in show at Crufts
A West Highland Terrier from our region has claimed the top prize atÂ Crufts for the first time in 26 years.
Devon was named Best In Show at the competition yesterday, an achievement described as "absolutely amazing" by her owner.
More than 22,000 dogs took part in the four-day event at the NEC in Birmingham as the competition celebrated its 125th year.
White Westie Devon beat off stiff competition from six other dogs in the final, screened live on Channel Four, to be crowned the overall winner on Sunday evening.
The champion dog's owner Marie Burns said she knew Devon was special from an early age as she told presenter Clare Balding she had said to a friend when the puppy was just eight or nine weeks old: "I think I've got the nicest Westie I've ever bred here."
On the victory itself, Ms Burns, from County Durham, added: "To win Best In Show at Crufts is absolutely amazing."
Ant and Dec tweeted their congratulations to the winner, who is also known as Geordie Girl and is almost two years old.
The presenting duo wrote: "Told you!!! Yess, Geordie Girl wins Best in Show! Yay #GeordieGirl! What a belter!"
Hazel the Whippet was the runner-up, alongside her owner Charlie Donaldson from Middlebie, Dumfriesshire.
The 19-year-old, the youngest handler in Best In Show, said: "Words can't describe how much this means. I'm so proud."
Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: "This has been a fantastic year and a wonderful final, and it's clear to see why, for 125 years, Crufts has been one of the major British events."