Crufts 2014: Ricky the poodle steals the show - video, full results and pictures
A poodle named Ricky has landed the world's most prestigious dog show prize after being judged this year's Best-in-Show at Crufts.
The two-year-old standard poodle triumphed over six other best-in-group winners in the final event of the annual competition, which attracted more than 21,000 entrants from Britain and overseas.
Ricky and his handler, Jason Lynn, were given the nod by the best-in-show judge Jack Bispham after being assessed for overall health, condition, coat, character, temperament and movement.
Results - for full results Click Here
Speaking immediately after the result was declared at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, Mr Lynn confirmed that Ricky would now be retired from competition in the UK.
Mr Lynn, from Preston, Lancashire, said: "I couldn't have asked for anything more.
"He gave an absoulutely beautiful performance and I am so proud of him."
Mr Lynn, who co-owns and co-bred the champion animal, added: "He was top dog all breeds last year and we decided that this would be his last show - and he has ended it in the most wonderful way possible."
Ricky was described earlier this week by his co-breeder Mike Gadsby as "a regular dog that we can take to the park and let off the lead", and earned his place in the Best-in-Show ring by winning Crufts' utility dog category.
Competing under his official name of Afterglow Maverick Sabre, Ricky fought off competition from a Pomeranian, a wire fox terrier, an Irish Wolfhound, a Samoyed, a Rottweiler and an American Cocker Spaniel.
The Samoyed, named Dan the Man and being shown by Sue Smith from Upwell in Norfolk, was named as the Best-in-Show runner-up.
While Ricky was judged to be the winner by the Kennel Club-approved judge, the Pomeranian, called Colin, appeared to be the favourite contestant among the majority of Twitter users.
After the result was announced, Clare Balding, who presented Channel 4's live coverage of Crufts' final day, tweeted: "Well Ricky may have won Best in Show but I think £Colin the perky Pomeranian stole your hearts."
Colin, who was smaller than the Best-in-Show trophy, and his owner had travelled from Warsaw to compete in and win the "toy" grouping open to small breeds.
Around 2,500 dogs from 45 countries took part in this year's Crufts, which traces its history back to 1891.
Crufts: Key facts and figures
The world's most well-groomed dogs descend on Birmingham's NEC for Crufts this week - the greatest dog show on earth.
Here are some of the best facts and figures from the canine parade, which celebrates its 123rd year in 2014:
:: As this year's finalists line-up to do their owners proud, they will be hoping to emulate some of their doggy ancestors at the show. The Cocker Spaniel has won the most Best in Show titles, with seven wins, followed by the Irish Setter and Welsh Terrier which have both won on four occasions.
:: The first ever Best in Show was won by a greyhound like this Italian breed in 1928. Greyhound Primley Sceptre took home the top prize and was owned and bred by Herbert Whitley, a brewery millionaire who also founded Paignton Zoo.
:: Theo, a four-a-half-year-old Pomeranian dog and Meme, a 10-month-old Afghan Hound, had to wait to compete at Crufts in 2001, after the show was postponed during the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Crufts ran in May rather than March that year.
:: Crufts covers more than 25 acres of the NEC in Birmingham over five halls, the Pavilion and the Crufts Best in Show Arena. The show moved from Earls Court in London to Britain's second city in 1991 - the first time it was ever staged outside the capital.
:: Crufts lost its apostrophe in 1974, the year it was also mentioned in a murder trial. A jury at the Old Bailey was told how a man who had started an affair with a woman he met at Crufts was then stabbed to death by his wife, with the knife he had used to cut up their dog's food.
:: Dog entries topped 15,000 for the first time in 1961 and kept rising - there were 20,566 canine competitors in 2013.
:: Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning monarch to visit the Crufts. Her Majesty is royal patron of The Kennel Club, which organises the show.
:: The BBC dropped live Crufts coverage from its schedule in 2009 following a dispute with The Kennel Club about the inclusion of certain breeds of pedigree dog in the competition. Crufts was first televised on the BBC in 1950.
:: The Best in Show prize has been awarded for the past 86 years. A total of 43 different breeds have won the prestigious title over the years.
:: The 1988 Best in Show winner, English setter Starlite Express of Valsett, was already a canine celebrity, having featured in a nationwide poster campaign for Pedigree Chum.
:: In 1954 an electricians' strike action resulted in the show being cancelled. It was the only time, apart from during the two world wars, that Crufts has been cancelled.
Belfast Telegraph Digital