Nicci Hindson and Elsa crowned Freestyle winners at Crufts

Elsa, a six years 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, on Thursday 9 March.

Each year Crufts hosts the finals of both Heelwork to Music and the 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 of her win: “It's amazing! It is Elsa’s third year in a row that she's won it and honestly, I do not deserve that dog! She is just a dog in a million, and she just gives and gives and gives. She's just an incredible dog!

“There is nothing like Crufts because it feels like a performance as well as a competition, with all the lights and the announcements, and especially under the spotlight it is just insane. It’s just surreal.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, commented: “Congratulations to Nicci and Elsa for their impressive performance. Heelwork to Music is a challenging activity that demands a lot of time and dedication, and the pair perfectly demonstrated the patience and skill needed from both the dog and the handler, as well as being a great example of what can be achieved.

“Nicci and Elsa are an inspiration for any dog owners out there who are interested in taking part in this fun and rewarding activity.” 

Find more information on the heelwork to music page.

Crufts takes place from 9 - 12 March 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information and results from the show, visit the Crufts website.