TWO delighted dog owners are celebrating after the region tasted further success at Crufts.
Deilia Graham, from Newhall, and Susan Betteridge, from Smisby, both returned from the annual event held at the NEC in Birmingham with awards thanks to the efforts of their beloved border collies.
Mrs Graham, who runs a puppy school at The Old Post Centre in Newhall, and her companion Braccy were made to share the top prize in the Inter-Regional Obedience category, finishing joint-first after the top two performers couldn’t be separated.
While Mrs Graham had put Braccy through an intensive course of training in readiness for facing one of the competiton’s toughest challenges, which allows no extra commands or hand signals, the success of Mrs Betteridge and her own border collie Katie was perhaps more remarkable.
Not only did they take the top prize in the Heel to Music Freestyle category for the second year running, Mrs Betteridge has achieved it all herself without the input of any professional trainers.
Mrs Betteridge said: “I used to be a teacher and while I dabbled in training a bit, I’ve only really taken it on seriously since I retired.
“I’m absolutely delighted, it’s such an honour. She is a companion dog, we’re not professional people, she’s a pet dog.”
Although Mrs Graham and Braccy were made to share first prize, it didn’t take away any sense of pride.
She said: “I’m delighted with how Braccy performed. Crufts is a very noisy and busy environment and he coped so well and didn’t put a paw wrong.”
The awards make it a triple success for the region after Sue Breeze, from Rosliston, and her dog named after England footballer Frank Lampard scooped a top award, as reported by the Mail last week.
Lampard, a Skye terrier, was named as ‘best in group’.