Nicci and Elsa crowned Freestyle winners at Crufts

Elsa, a five-year-old Border Collie, and her owner Nicci Hindson from Newark, Nottinghamshire, won the heelwork to music freestyle final at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts.

Elsa and Nicci won on Thursday 10 March, beating the other finalists to win the heelwork to music freestyle final.

Each year Crufts hosts the finals of both heelwork to music and freestyle competitions. All advanced level dogs and handlers can qualify for Crufts by entering one or more of a series of qualifying events held throughout the previous year.

The participants devised routines of up to four minutes, set to music, and performed them with their dog in the Resorts World Arena at the NEC, Birmingham.

Delighted owner Nicci said: “We have won Crufts! It is the dream. If you do Heelwork to Music, it is what you work towards and when you win it, life is a bit good. And when you win it two years running, life is blooming good!

“Elsa is just the best. She is my soulmate. She is the Torvill to my Dean. She is the perfect pet. My best friend and you couldn’t wish for a better working partner.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, commented: “Congratulations to Nicci and Elsa for their impressive routine. It was of the highest standard and demonstrated the patience, skill and dedication needed from both the dog and the handler.

“Heelwork to Music is a challenging activity that demands a lot of time and talent to perfect. Nicci and Elsa are a great example and inspiration for any dog owners out there who are interested in taking part in this fun and rewarding activity.”

For more information on Heelwork to Music, please visit The Kennel Club website.