Agility stars crowned winners at Crufts

Three agility dogs competing in the Kennel Club Novice Cup at Crufts were crowned winners on Thursday March 5th, in their respective categories, for small, medium and large dogs.

Pretzel, a three-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, and owner Louise Eden from St Peter, Jersey, won the Kennel Club Novice Cup for small dogs.

Delighted Louise said: “The two rounds together are over in a little over 80 seconds, so you can’t take anything for granted.

“Now that he’s won I am really excited about what he can go on and do in the future.”

Gatsby, a three-year-old Working Cocker Spaniel, and owner Amy Garcés from Enfield, North London, won the Kennel Club Novice Cup for medium dogs.

Thrilled Amy said: “I really didn’t expect to win. Gatsby and I were competing against much faster dogs and younger handlers, so I had no expectations.

“I’m super proud of Gatsby - we both managed to hold our nerve in the ring. Gatsby is such a wonderful pet who just loves to please. The real win for me is I get to take home a wonderful dog at the end of today’s event.”

Rey-Rey, a three-year-old Border Collie, and owner Kate Howlett from Rayleigh, Essex, won the Kennel Club Novice Cup for large dogs.

Proud Kate said: “I’m really chuffed with this result. There were 450 entrants in the qualifying stages so to win overall feels phenomenal.

“This is a first Crufts win for both Rey-Rey and also for me so it’s really special.”

The top ten large, eight medium and eight small dogs from the Novice Cup competition (Grades 3, 4 or 5) held at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival last August took part in the finals on Thursday at Crufts.

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Congratulations to all three winners for a fantastic performance at Crufts. There was some impressive teamwork on display and all of the competitors should feel very proud of their achievements. We wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Crufts takes place from 5th – 8th March 2020 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information, visit