Meet Baggins, the Crufts winner who is lucky to be alive

Shirley Hinchliffe and dog Baggins, who won at Crufts 2022

Baggins the dog has won a rosette at Crufts with owner Shirley Hinchliffe PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

Baggins the bearded collie was named best in class at Crufts last week, two years after an accident that left him 'lucky to be alive'. 

It was an emotional day for owner Shirley Hinchliffe, from Ipswich, who saw all four of her dogs qualify for the category at the event. 

Seven-year-old Baggins was awarded best in class in the bearded collie good citizen event - and it was rather unexpected for Mrs Hinchliffe, who spent months nursing her beloved dog back to health.

Shirley Hinchliffe and dog Baggins, who won at Crufts 2022

Baggins the bearded collie survived a serious accident two years ago PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

A freak accident about two years ago left Baggins needing multiple operations and almost round-the-clock care. 

On the winning moment, Mrs Hinchliffe said: "It was emotional, very emotional. He's lucky to be alive so to go on to win his class at Crufts was amazing.  

"He absolutely floated around the ring and lots of top judges came up to me and said how amazing he had done and it's all credit to me. But it's something I did because I love him so much. 

"I slept on the sofa seven months with him and then he was rushed back in and had to start all over again.

Bearded collie dog Baggins, who won at Crufts 2022

Baggins is seven years old and will now be competing as a veteran PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

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"We don't really know what happened but we think he tried to jump over a fence and got severely injured. 

"We bought him as a puppy from Germany and he sired a lovely litter just before the accident and they did well Crufts as well, so that was lovely." 

All four of the Hinchliffe bearded collies qualified - which is no easy task with just under 300 competitors of this breed at Crufts this year alone. 

"My other dog, Bill, got a reserve. 

"I've had beardies since 1977, but right now I've got Bill, Bo, Baggins and Bungo - they're known as the hobbits. 

"Bill has done a lot of winning over the last year but it was lovely to think Baggins has done so well after what he's gone through."

Crufts rosettes awarded as prizes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Baggins will return to Crufts next year to defend his title PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

 

The win qualified Baggins for Crufts next year and several championship shows are coming up soon for the now-veteran dog. 

But even outside of competition, he stays busy, with Mrs Hinchliffe adding: "He's also a practice therapy dog, he goes to visit local nursing homes and they love him. He's so gentle with the residents. 

"And he loves children as well; he hears children and he just wants to follow them to school so I'm thinking of starting school visits. 

"He can keep going as long as he's healthy. He enjoys it, he's quite an outgoing dog, nothing fazes him."

Shirley Hinchliffe and dog Baggins, who won at Crufts 2022

Shirley Hinchliffe has owned bearded collies since 1977 and has four currently PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant