Edinburgh dog wins Crufts 2018 as protester invades arena

Owner Yvette Short poses with "Collooney Tartan Tease" (Tease), the Whippet. Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty
Owner Yvette Short poses with "Collooney Tartan Tease" (Tease), the Whippet. Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty
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More than 21,000 dogs descended on Birmingham for this year’s Crufts – and the Best in Show 2018 proved to be a real Tease from Bonnyrigg.

Tease the Whippet scooped the coveted crown after a flawless display on the famous green carpet at the world’s biggest dog show – held once again at the NEC Arena – on Sunday evening.

Owner and handler Yvette Short, a veteran of the show for 30 years, showed off two-year-old Tease in front of a packed out Crufts crowd after winning the hound category on the same floor on Friday.

But the delighted 52-year-old from Bonnyrigg admitted she missed the memorable moment when the judge strode towards her as she daren’t look up from her pooch.

“It’s just an unbelievable feeling, absolutely amazing and it’s going to take some time to sink in,” Yvette said. “She’s so laid back, she’s just a dream.

“She’s beautiful, she’s kind. It’s really incredible feeling to have won.

A protestor is carried off after running into the area as Best In Show was being announced on day four of Cruft's. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty

A protestor is carried off after running into the area as Best In Show was being announced on day four of Cruft's. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty

“I didn’t watch the judges coming towards me – I was too scared. He was pointing at me before I looked up.

“I was very nervous beforehand, but I felt she went very well. She took it more in her stride than me but we did it!”

The win brought to a close another memorable Crufts, which attracted more than 150,000 visitors to Birmingham over four days.

Tease was up against a Pointer, which took Reserve Best in Show, Newfoundland, a Border Collie, a Papillon, an Akita and a Scottish Terrier in the iconic final.

And Yvette and Tease, who attend Midlothian Dog Training Club, held their nerve to pip their fellow finalists to the famed silver cup.

It marked an even more successful year for the pair, who triumphed in the Best of Breed category in 2017 and was reserve best in group for the Hound dogs.

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An intruder had stormed the arena as the winner of the Crufts dog show was announced on live television.

The man, who was named by Crufts organisers as a protester from the animal rights group Peta, was wrestled to the ground in the middle of the NEC.

Ms Short had just proudly stepped up to the podium with her Best In Show winner when the commotion unfolded.

She quickly grabbed Tease as several men ran down and cornered the protester in front of a startled live audience.

The crowd broke into applause as the intruder was taken away.

Crufts and the NEC Group said they would review security procedures as “a matter of urgency” as the scare had frightened the dogs and risked their safety.

A Crufts spokesman said: “It appears that protesters from Peta gained unauthorised access to the ring in the main arena at Crufts, and in doing so scared the dogs and put the safety of both dogs and people at risk in a hugely irresponsible way.

“Our main priority at the moment is the wellbeing of the dogs that were in the ring, who are looked after by their owners and show officials.

“The NEC Group have extensive security procedures in place at Crufts and we, along with the NEC Group, will be reviewing what happened as a matter of urgency.”

Peta UK later tweeted a clip of the invasion and claimed activists were protesting against extreme breeding and carrying banners which said “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”.

It said there were two intruders and named them as members of the Vegan Strike Group, which bills itself as fighters against animal abuse.