Representing the UK, Ricky qualified for the event in October this year as winner of the Eukanuba Champion Stakes. He was bred in the UK by Michael Gadsby and Jason Lynn, who is also co-owner along with John & Sandra Stone. Ricky has had a very successful year, including winning 'Top Dog All Breeds' in the UK as well as winning 'Best Bred By' in the non-sporting group at the AENC on Saturday.
Ricky's proud breeder, owner and handler, Jason Lynn, enthused "It's been the most wonderful week here in Orlando. We were getting momentum during the last few days culminating in this great win. It's the ultimate honour for an exhibitor to get this international recognition among the best of the best from all over the world! Eukanuba does such a great job in bringing everyone together to celebrate this common passion we all share."
Judge Mr. Miguel Angel Martinez selected Ricky as the EWC Champion 2013 and explained, "Afterglow Maverick Sabre is the perfect Standard Poodle according to the breed standard. He really stood out and was performing at his best all around the ring tonight. It was clear that dog and handler were in perfect harmony. It was an absolutely flawless performance, without a single mistake."
The 43 competing dogs from 38 countries were split into four non-geographical groups judged by: Hungarian Kennel Club President Mr Andras Korozs; top handler and respected judge Mr Peter Green; Dutch Kennel Club President Mr Gerard Jipping; and former President of Israel's Kennel Club Mr Zvi Kupferberg. Just three from each group went through to the grand finale held on Sunday and judged by Mr Martinez, in which 'Afterglow Maverick Sabre' was crowned World Champion.
Runner up was Dogo Argentino 'Monika de Don Eloy', who qualified as the winner of the FCI Americas & Caribbean Section Show. Bred and owned by Lilian Colantonio from Argentina, Monika was handled masterfully by professional handler Agustin Farias, winning the $3,000 prize. Proud owner Lilian believes Monika was born to be in the ring and who can blame her, having already achieved 32 Best in Show wins, 37 Best of Group wins and 108 Best of Breed wins.
First runner up, winning $2,000, was Dobermann Ch 'Protocol's Veni Vidi Vici', representing the "Best of Bred by" winner of the AENC 2012. 'Fifi' is bred and owned by Kevin and Jocelyn Mullins who handled her expertly to this and many other past successes, including 75 Best in Shows, 3 consecutive National Championship wins, and 52 Best in Show Specialty wins. Jocelyn, who happened to celebrate her birthday on Sunday, was over the moon about achieving this fantastic result, "It's unbelievable to be among the top three dogs in a competition comprised of only winners - the best of the best".
Joseluis Ibanez, Eukanuba World Challenge show chair and EMEA Breeder manager, summarised, "It has been an exceptional weekend and in my eyes all 43 dogs are winners. But ultimately someone has to win and the top three selected are worthy winners and wonderful dogs. The fact that all three winning dogs and overall 80% of all participants in the World Challenge are fed Eukanuba makes my very happy and proud - it is a proof that Eukanuba really brings out the extraordinary in dogs and is the food of choice for champions."
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