Page last updated at 00:21 GMT, Monday, 9 March 2009

Terrier wins controversial Crufts

Crufts winner Charmin with with judge Peter Green and owner Marjorie Good
Charmin with judge Peter Green and owner Margery Good

A Sealyham terrier named Charmin has won Best In Show at Crufts, following a turbulent year for the event.

The RSPCA and sponsor Pedigree pulled out of partnerships with the dog show, following claims about breeding malpractice in a BBC documentary.

But thousands of spectators attended the four-day event at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Charmin's owner, Margery Good, of Pennsylvania, said she was "very excited and very pleased" to have won.

Ms Good added: "He's such a special dog. He is my best buddy. He proved himself tonight and made every step just right."

"It's been a very exciting evening."

The reserve prize was taken by a standard poodle called Donny.

'Serious issues'

Some 28,000 dogs were estimated to have attended the show, the third highest figure since the show was founded in 1891.

The Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, broadcast the event live on the internet for the first time, and predicted that visitor numbers would match last year's record crowd of 160,000.

In December the BBC said it had suspended coverage in 2009 pending further investigations into the health and well being of pedigree dogs in the UK.

It said the decision followed the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme on BBC One in August 2008, which "identified serious issues affecting the health and welfare of some pedigree dogs".

Pedigree also ended its 40-year relationship with the event as a result of the claims, and the RSPCA withdrew its stall citing "morally unjustifiable" breeding practices leading to disability, deformity and disease among show dogs.

The Kennel Club has insisted the vast majority of dogs are healthy but it has acknowledged there were some problems with certain breeds.

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