Willy, whose full name is Araki Fabulous Willy, is owned by Mr. Smith and Mr. Shaw from Brockworth in Gloucestershire and handled by Larry Cornelius from California. Organizers said around 143,000 spectators flocked to the annual event, which last year crowned Californian pooch Chance – an Australian Shepherd – as champion. In 2006, there were only 1,292 Tibetan Terriers registered with the UK Kennel Club, making Willy’s achievements all the more remarkable.
This year’s Crufts attracted more than 25,000 dogs from all over the world and ran from March 8 to 11, with judging divided into four categories: gun dogs, working and pastoral, terrier and hound, and toy and utility. The champion beat these six other group winners at the final including runner-up Peggy, a one-year-old wire hair fox terrier.
Crufts is named after its founder Charles Cruft. The young Charles leaving college in 1876 had no desire to join the family jeweler business. Instead he took employment with James Spratt who had set up a new venture in Holborn, London selling "dog cakes". In 1878 French dog breeders invited him to organize the promotion of the canine section of the Paris Exhibition. The first Crufts show in that name was booked into the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington in 1891.