Rasen’s Paula and Empress take Crufts title

Market Rasen with Empress Neema a Basenji, which was the Best of Breed winner on the first day of Crufts 2017. Photo by onEdition
Market Rasen with Empress Neema a Basenji, which was the Best of Breed winner on the first day of Crufts 2017. Photo by onEdition
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It proved to be a day to remember for one Market Rasen dog lover after her 14-month-old Basenji called Empress Neema put her best paw forward to claim a prestigious prize at Crufts 2017.

One of 22,000 happy, healthy dogs at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) for the world’s 
largest dog show, Basenji Empress Neema made sure to take a starring role alongside owner Paula Steele, walking away with the Best of Breed 
award.

Presented by the Kennel Club, this year’s Crufts marked the 126th edition of the show, which attracts dogs and owners from all over the world as well as thousands of visitors over the course of the four days (ThursdayMarch 9 - Sunday March 12 2017).

And after enjoying their own moment in the spotlight, Paula could not be more delighted with Empress Neema’s performance in the West Midlands.

“I can’t quite believe that I’ve won a Best of Breed and it feels like a dream come true,” said the 41-year-old project director, 
who attends Trent Ringcraft Club - a dog training club where dog owners train up their four-legged friends for the show ring.

“I never thought someone who does this as their hobby could have this kind of opportunity.

“It’s incredible because I only own five dogs so I guess it’s true that dreams really come true.

“Empress Neema is the best dog ever, she’s Empress by name and empress by nature.”

This year’s four day canine extravaganza saw entries from 56 different countries - representing a 2 per cent increase in overseas entries.