Poppy an eight year-old Border Collie and her owner Paige Jepson from Biddulph Moor Staffordshire, have triumphed at Crufts by winning the Young Kennel Club (YKC) Good Citizen Dog Special Pre-Beginner Obedience Stakes Competition at Crufts today.
Poppy and Paige, aged 18, beat ten other talented dogs to be crowned the winner of the 2016 Stakes Competition at the world's greatest dog show. This is the first time the YKC competition has been added to the Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) ring at Crufts.
Paige said of her fantastic win: "It is our first time competing in this competition so we were a little bit nervous to start, with but we had an almost perfect first round which got us off to a great start. Usually we compete in grooming but I had to miss that to give this a go. Luckily it paid off but I will definitely be back next year to try and compete in both.
"Crufts is my highlight of the year, everyone calls it 'Cruftsmas' and I definitely know why. It is the biggest and the best dog competition in the world and I love every single thing about it!"
The competition was created in 2005 to encourage prospective exhibitors who have passed their GCDS Bronze Award to take part in obedience competitions. The exercises included in the test are a combination of the current GCDS exercises and the Pre-Beginner obedience test. Building on the basic training skills learnt through the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, these new stakes help to bridge the gap between basic training and entering a competition, especially for junior members.
Dogs entered in the final qualified at heats held in 2015, by being nominated as the best YKC member in the heat. Heats were held at 31 locations throughout the UK and competition was fierce.
Maurice Cooke, Good Citizen Dog Scheme Working Party Chairman, added: "Congratulations to Poppy and Paige on their achievement; they have proved that they are more than worthy winners. I'm delighted that we've opened up the Pre-Beginners stakes competition to our Young Kennel Club members as there are so many talented young people and their dogs out there."