Trio of Agility Stars crowned winner at Crufts

Crufts agility Novice Cup final. Credit BeatMedia and The Kennel Club

Three agility dogs, from Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and Essex, competing in The Kennel Club Novice Cup at Crufts, were crowned winners in the final on Thursday 7 March, in their respective categories, for small, intermediate and large dogs, sponsored by YuMOVE.

Bug, a three-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, and owner Steven Swankie from Gloucester, won The Kennel Club Novice Cup for small dogs.

Delighted Steven said: “It was Bug’s first time at Crufts, and she did not let me down! It was an amazing day!”

Macey, a two-year-old Border Collie, and owner Kate Howlett from Rayleigh, Essex, won The Kennel Club Novice Cup for intermediate dogs.

Over-joyed Kate said: “This win is extra special as Macey’s mum Rey Rey and I won the same competition at Crufts in 2020 - so to go on and win it again is really something!”

Cruz, a three-year-old Border Collie, and owner Lindsay Bentley from Cheadle, Staffordshire, won The Kennel Club Novice Cup for large dogs.

Proud Lindsay said: “Competing at Crufts is what dreams are made of, but to win is just absolutely incredible! It is still sinking in! I am so so proud of Cruz and how he coped with the crowds. We had the best day ever!”

The top six large, six intermediate, six medium and six small dogs from the semi-final Novice Cup competition, held at The Kennel Club International Agility Festival in August 2023, took part in the finals on Thursday at Crufts.

Helen Kerfoot, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Well done to all three winning dogs and their owners for their impressive run in the arena at Crufts. 

"Congratulations to all those that made it to the final of The Kennel Club Novice Cup, all of the competitors should feel proud of their training and achievement. We wish them the best of luck for all future competitions.” 

Fiona Hope, CEO of YuMOVE which sponsored the event, commented: “Congratulations to all the owners and their dogs on their fantastic win in The Kennel Club Novice Cup at Crufts!

“YuMOVE has been an agility sponsor of Crufts for many years, and we’re proud to support canine athletes with our wide range of products so they can keep doing what they do best in the arena.”

Crufts took place from 7 - 10 March 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information and results from the show, visit Crufts website.