Scottish agility star crowned at Crufts

Aspen, a crossbreed, and her owner Claire Crichton from Melrose, Scotland, won The Kennel Club Large Novice ABC (Anything But Collies) Agility competition, after battling it out against eight other finalists at Crufts, the world’s greatest dog show, on Friday 10 March.

The final, which was sponsored by YuMOVE, saw eight large dogs in Grades 1-5 of agility, other than Border Collies and Working Sheepdogs, competing to win, having all qualified from the semi-finals at The Kennel Club’s Discover Dogs in October 2022.

Proud owner Claire said: “It is just what dreams are made of. Aspen is my first agility dog and she has gone from strength to strength. She is so honest, so genuine and she owes me absolutely nothing!  Aspen is quirky, cheeky but so loyal it's unbelievable.

“I was introduced to agility by Graham Tappin at Gemgray Dog Training, he got me into it, I just went to a local club once for a try out.

“It's what everyone talks about, everyone talks about this amazing dog show, and I had never been to Crufts ever. It's my first time here, my first time competing, and it's amazing! What an atmosphere, the crowd just made it!"

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Congratulations to Aspen and Claire for their exceptional performance in the final today. The pair really demonstrated how hard they have been training and the wonderful bond between them was evident. We wish them luck in future agility competitions.

“The ABC Agility is a fun competition for owners with different breeds of dog competing in agility. Well done to all who entered and took part in the final.”

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