POOCHES from across the Observer area will be among the hundreds vying for a top place at the world’s largest dog show, Crufts.
After hours spent preparing and grooming, the dogs - with their proud owners - take to the show ring at the Kennel Club’s event of 2013 which opens today, Thursday March 7 at Birmingham’s NEC.
It is a bumper year for members of the Great Dunmow and District Ringcraft Society with 28 dogs qualifying for a place at the four day show. “It’s a high proportion this year and could well be our highest number ever,” said group secretary Sylvia Reed.
She is showing her two cocker spaniels, three-year-old Dorah and Dorah’s daughter, one-year-old Mazie, and is keeping her fingers crossed that one if not both will be short listed in the first five in their class. “It would be lovely just to be placed,” said Sylvia, 64, of Rylstone Way, Saffron Walden.
Sylvia loves showing her dogs at Crufts and has had success in the past. “I think it is absolutely magical and the dogs love it as well,” she said. Sylvia’s daughter Lindsey, 28, is travelling to Crufts with her to show Mazie.
Like all dogs, when they are not in the show ring, Dorah and Mazie like nothing better than sleeping on Sylvia’s bed and going out for walks and getting themselves covered in mud.
Another society member Racheal Corr, 33, of Dunmow, was also looking forward to a return visit to Crufts with her dogs. She is showing Inky, her seven-year-old Akita who won her class at Crufts about three years ago, and her two-year-old Shar Pei called Pinch for the first time.
“I have been showing for 11 years and we go to Crufts every year,” said Racheal. “Inky has qualified for life and Pinch had to get a first to third in a qualifying class at a championship show which she did at Birmingham National last May. I like being able to show off my dog; we like to win but its about spending time with them and they enjoy it, running around the ring, meeting other dogs and owners; it’s like a family. This in Inky’s first time in veteran and we are hoping to get best veteran.”
Others who have qualified include Violet Slade, of Saffron Walden, whose dogs have been competing at Crufts for many years.
If you are taking part in Crufts please give the Observer a call on (01279) 866359.