Could one of these pets be top dog at Crufts?
More than 20,000 dogs and their owners will head to the world’s largest dog show, Crufts, from March 7 to 10. Reporter LAURA STUART-COOK meets four owners from North East Lincolnshire who will be making the trip to Birmingham’s NEC in the hope of winning a coveted red rosette...
Lydia is hoping no one rains on her parade at Crufts
SHE might only be 17, but Lydia Smith is an old-hand when it comes to competing at Crufts.
She made her debut at the show when she was just 12 and will this year be competing in four classes.
MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS
IF WE CANNOT FIND YOU A TENANT WITHIN ONE MONTH WE WILL FIND YOU ONE FOR FREE, YES FREE, YOU WILL PAY NO FEES.
Terms: TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY.
Contact: 01472 355 553
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Lydia, from Immingham, will also be collecting the prestigious Rebecca Pointer Memorial Trophy, as the Young Kennel Club member who has collected the most obedience points in shows during the last 12 months.
She said: "There's a great atmosphere at Crufts and I enjoy meeting up with all of my friends as well as competing."
Lydia will be competing in graduate and intermediate obedience classes with her five-year-old border collie, Magic, and in graduate obedience with Magic's brother, Kairo.
Lydia and Magic will also compete in the YKC heelwork to music freestyle final, completing a two-minute choreographed routine to Don't Rain On My Parade by Barbra Streisand.
The Oasis Academy Immingham pupil added: "I wouldn't change the breed I own for the world. Collies are energetic and eager to please."
Lydia's grandmother, Mel Ely, who runs Klever K9's, in Ladysmith Road, Grimsby, said: "To get to Crufts is like the biggest achievement ever for people in the dog world. To win there is even better."
Looking for another breed class win
JULIE Watcham is hoping her border collie repeats the success he had at Crufts two years ago when he won his breed class.
Dexter, who will be competing in limit dog, took first prize in the post gradate class in 2011.
Julie, 57, from Stallingborough, said: "I've been showing Dexter at Crufts since he was a puppy and it's always fun to go and be part of it.
"Dexter has won enough prizes now that he is qualified for life, so we get to go every year.
"I'll be doing a bit of extra training before the show starts and making sure he's bathed and trimmed ready for the day."
Dexter's show name is Birkvaughan I Am The Man and he is four years old.
Hair’s a contender
BEARDED collie Manny has won second and fourth prizes at Crufts in the past so his owner is hoping this is the year he takes a first prize.
Manny – whose show name is Thingamebob Rudy Valentino – will compete in the post graduate class at Crufts.
His owner, nurse Karen Bramley, from Laceby, said: "Manny is my second show dog and he's won second and fourth prizes at Crufts before, which is really good because there are very big classes in bearded collies.
"You don't know how well your dog will do in advance, but it would be amazing if he came first.
"I enjoy showing because you get to meet lots of new people and travel around the country for the shows."
Dream came true for owner
WHEN she was growing up, Laura Sleight dreamt of showing a dog at Crufts.
But is wasn't until she received Dandie Dinmont terrier Bobby for her 18th birthday that she started working towards her aim.
This will Laura's second appearance at Crufts and she will be handling both three-year-old Bobby – show name Cassencarrie Bobby Vee at Bonnybeck – and his half-sister, Maddy, aka Cassencarrie Madalana at Bonnybeck.
Laura, from Cleethorpes, who currently works part-time at Pets At Home while working towards her degree, said: "We always had rescue dogs when I was growing up so, when I got Bobby for my 18th, I was really excited about showing him.
"Bobby won a first and a fourth at Crufts last year so it would be brilliant if he won again.
"The judge will be looking to make sure he's got a correct topline, coat, mouth and that his head and expression is right for the breed."