A Powys couple were overjoyed after winning a prestigious prize at this year’s Crufts.

Gill and Graham Hart, from Llandinam, won the prize for best reserve bitch and were then awarded the Reserve Bitch Challenge Certificate for their Irish red and white setter  Caitlin at this year’s Crufts.

“It’s probably the best result we have ever had at Crufts we’ve had first prizes in classes before but then to go and be awarded the Reserve Bitch Challenge Certificate was exceptional for us,” said Mr Hart.

“We’re only a small hobby breeders and hobby exhibitors and we take it seriously but its more about the fun and the laugh you can have with everybody else.”


The couple have been breeding setters for 17 years and showing them for 16 years after finding a ringcraft class near to where they were living at the time and it just took off from there.

They now travel all over the country as well as Ireland doing shows with Mr Hart also judging events for the last decade.

The win at Crufts was an especially big achievement as the level of competition is over twice as much as it is at a normal dog show, with extra competition coming from across the continent.

County Times: The awards picked up by the couple at this years Crufts.The awards picked up by the couple at this years Crufts. (Image: Graham Hart)

Mr Hart said he was especially happy for his wife as she had nearly had to quit breeding and dog shows after a bout of ill health.

“I was more happy for Gill because she’s the one,” said Mr Hart. “I tend to show our Irish setters, Gill tends to show the red and whites.

“She was contemplating giving up because she was struggling but her health has improved and she went to a little show in Bridgend and she got best in breed down there, which was fantastic.

“It gave her the confidence and she went to Crufts and she just flew round it was brilliant. 

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The award-winning three-year-old dog, Caitlin, was initially brought my Mr Hart as a present for his wife.  

“We’ve had her from eight weeks old,” added Mr Hart. “She’s won previous Reserve Bitch Challenge Certificates at general championship shows.

"This was her fourth at Crufts and she’s also won a full challenge certificate which goes towards her championship status but because Crufts is such a big thing and it’s like the ultimate accolade.”