Competitors from Louth, Mablethorpe and Alford head to Crufts!

With Crufts 2020 kicking off today (Thursday), the Leader has been speaking with competitors from our area ahead of the big event.

Fiona Pinder with Maggie

Karen Bradley, from Louth, will be taking her male Hungarian Vizsla called Marghele Smooth As Statham (Spud), who is two years old.

Karen said: “I’ve been to Crufts many times with other dogs and took Spud last year which was his first time.

“He took second in his class which I was thrilled with.

'Our Black Jack' at a previous competition.

“The judge said she was looking for a dog that looked like he could work all day and he fitted the bill.

“He is entered in Post Graduate Dog this year and it will be a strong class with a lot of entries.

“Hopefully he will rise to the occasion again as he loved it last year but much prefers working on a shoot either beating or picking up game.”

Amanda McCracken, who lives near Saltfleetby, will be taking her dog Our Black Jack (Cuithbeart).

Chloe-Leigh Findlay (left) with Stillmoor Miss Independent At Dreamorox

Amanda said: “This is the third time we have taken him. He got fourth last year in his class. He’s in Post Graduate this year.

“I am feeling really excited - I have been spending some time getting him ready for Crufts.”

Amanda also spoke about the threat of coronavirus as tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to Crufts over the next few days.

She said: “It shouldn’t stop anyone from competing. I think the competitors will be fairly safe as the appropriate safety measures are in place.”

Champion Blamorder Back To The Future (Flynn) and Juniper Wood My Dream (Belle).

Chloe Leigh Findlay will be flying the flag for Mablethorpe at this year’s competition.

Chloe Leigh’s mum Sarah said: “Chloe- Leigh is just 13 and she with be competing at Crufts with her dog Stillmoor Miss Independent At Dreamorox (Roxxi) who is a 10 year old Border Collie.

“This is Chloe-Leigh’s third year at Crufts (she has previously placed third in a different class) and she has competed in both the YKC Jumping Cup and Obedience classes. This year Chloe-Leigh has qualified in the YKC Over-12 Basic Obedience.

“Chloe-Leigh told me she feels nervous about Crufts, but is really looking forward to competing.

Marghele Smooth As Statham

“Chloe-Leigh said she feels lucky to have qualified again and is grateful to Roxxi, her trainers Nicky Cracknell (Obedience), and both Lynne Kelly and Ian Hutchinson (Agility), and her friends and family for their support.”

Mum Sarah continued: “Chloe-Leigh was selected to join the Junior GB Squad last year in October at the selection day held at Newark Showground. It consists of a course where the Juniors and their dogs must show their handling skills and their bond with their dog, to complete the course in a fast time and clear round.

“She was selected onto the team with her own dog Midnight Roy At Dreamorox (Demon) and Demon’s son Alfie who we bred (he is a Roxxi & Demon puppy).

“I am so unbelievably proud of everything Chloe-Leigh has achieved over the years, she has a natural gift with the dogs and it’s wonderful watching her work them.”

Brenda Trundley will be flying the flag for Withern, near Alford, later this week.

She said: “I am taking two dogs called Champion Blamorder Back To The Future (Flynn) and Juniper Wood My Dream (Belle).

“I went to Crufts in the 60s/70s with the same breed. I moved up here in 2000 so I’ve been going for the last twenty years or so.

“Flynn will be competing in Open Dog, and Belle - who is Flynn’s daughter - will be competing in Mimic Bitch.

“I am really looking forward to competing this year. I have only known Crufts to be cancelled once and that was due to foot and mouth, so I’m not worried.”

The Leader was provided with details for competitors in the Louth, Mablethorpe, and Alford area upon request.

Also competing at Crufts will be Miss C Mercer and Miss L A Thomas from Louth, and Miss C Dennis, from Mablethorpe, and Mr R & Mrs L Elvin from Bilsby, near Alford.

• Local therapy dog charity needs you!

Fiona Pinder: “This is the second year I am heading to Crufts with the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide.

“We have temperament assessed dogs and we visit all different sorts of establishments.

“I personally go into Fotherby Care Home but some of the dogs go into local schools, hospitals, prisons - wherever there is a need for a therapy dog.

“It has been proven that dogs can be very calming and my German Shepherd Maggie gives a lot of comfort to people.

“I’ve had Maggie since she was eight weeks old and she is almost nine.

“I’m going there tomorrow (Thursday) - we will have a big stand and there will be another 10 volunteers there.

“People can come round and cuddle the dogs.

“We will also be in the parade ring in the morning and then in the afternoon.

“Members of the public are invited into the parade ring to stroke the dogs.

“If I can go somewhere and make just one person happy it is worthwhile going.

“I do this in my spare time and enjoy sharing the love Maggie has for people.”

“Maggie and I live in Fulstow and regularly visit the residents in Fotherby House who are always pleased to see and have a cuddle with Maggie.

“Our volunteers and their temperament tested dogs work with a wide group of people in the community, from care homes, schools, hospitals and prisons.

“We are always looking for new volunteers in the Louth area, so if you are interested in being part of this rewarding charity, more details can be found on the website or email [email protected]

Area Team Leader Mandy Stephenson added: “Our stall will be in Hall 3, Stand 53 so people can come and see us.

If anyone is interested about their dog becoming a therapy dog, call 07549 216791.

• Crufts addresses coronavirus fears

In a statement issued on Monday, The Kennel Club said: “Further to the Government COBRA meeting held on Monday March 2, and following further discussion, the Kennel Club can confirm Crufts 2020 is currently going ahead as planned. Public Health England has not advised us to cancel the event.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our exhibitors and visitors as usual.

“However, this does remain an evolving situation and we will continue to adhere to the best available advice.

“We must be guided by the facts and most up-to-date medical information and at the moment, advice from Public Health England has not changed - the most effective thing people can do to protect themselves is make sure that they wash their hands for 20 seconds or more.

“Following the COBRA meeting, the Government has said it is important that people go about their ‘business as usual’ for the time being.

“There will be enhanced measures to help protect our visitors, exhibitors, clients and staff at Crufts.

“Everyone should note that the main message from Public Health England is on personal hygiene, therefore staff, exhibitors and visitors are also being encouraged to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene by employing the ‘Catch It. Bin It. Kill It’ ethos.

“Additional signage and bottles of hand sanitiser will be introduced in toilets and the in-hall catering areas, to make it easier for everyone to clean their hands.

“We continue to monitor the situation with the Department of Health and Defra, and further updates, as and when we have them, will be issued.”

Information provided by the Government can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public