Working Sheepdog from Ellesmere Port and owner become Crufts obedience champions

Zuri, a Working Sheepdog, and her owner Kathy Russell from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire took home one of the top obedience prizes at Crufts after winning the Obedience Championship (Bitches) final on March 10. The judge was Philomena Barnes who had also judged the equivalent final for dogs the day before.

Kathy, who has competed at Crufts on a number of occasions and is a committee member of the Cheshire Dog Training Association, and ten-year-old Zuri (whose official Kennel Club name is Obedience Champion Ruskath Makana Image) came first in the final held at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, after competing against some of Britain’s best dogs for the coveted title.

All competitors at the championships had made it through to the final from one of the 46 championship shows that hosted qualifying classes for the Crufts Obedience Championships. 

Proud owner Kathy said: “Winning at Crufts is a dream come true, as ultimately it’s what you want to achieve. Obedience is all about teamwork and Crufts is an entity in itself. Some people say you need a bit of luck, but I don’t think you need luck. You need a dog with a brilliant temperament to cope with the unique atmosphere. You cannot go to anywhere else in the UK to get the atmosphere of Crufts.

"Zuri is the third dog I have won the Obedience Championship with. She was the top obedience bitch in the UK last year and this win is the culmination of everything we have worked towards.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Huge congratulations to Zuri and Kathy for their excellent Crufts win. Their bond was clear from their teamwork and it was fantastic to see how obedient and well trained Zuri was.

“Obedience competitors come from far and wide in the UK to showcase their skills at the show and the standard of dogs and their handlers who enter are always very impressive.”

Crufts took place from 7th - 10th March 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information, please visit

For free downloadable images from Crufts 2019, please go to