Day three of the dazzling dog show that is dfs Crufts belonged to the Hound and Terrier Group and today’s show really was a star studded event.
Human and canine celebrities kept the crowds entertained throughout the day. A rather special Greyhound, called Dash, was to be found in Hall 5 providing paw print autographs for her book, Dash: Bitch of the Year. Written by her owner, Andrew Dilger, the book chronicles Dash’s journey from the race track to ring bearer at Andrew’s wedding. It was Dash and Andrew’s first visit to dfs Crufts and judging by Dash’s happy wagging tail it won’t be their last.
Some of the canine stars from both the small and large screen could also be found showcasing the skills that have made them famous. On the Arden Grange stand, Gill Raddings wowed the audience with the acting abilities of her action stunt dogs. Gill’s dogs are better known by their screen names and today, Skyes, also known as Harvey from the TV advert, ‘Every home needs a Harvey,’ showed visitors what it takes to be a canine celebrity. Skyes was also joined by his doggy friends, who have appeared in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes and the Young Victoria, and TV shows including Doc Martin, Downton Abbey, Eastenders and Heartbeat.
Rosemary Conley also popped by to give her backing to the Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido Challenge. In association with Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs, and supported by Olympic swimmer, Sharron Davies MBE, the Challenge aims to ensure that both dogs and their owners get the exercise they need.
Rosemary was joined by Sarah Humphreys, who lost half her body weight through walking her dog and changing her lifestyle. Sarah helped Rosemary kick off the campaign by taking part in dog agility in the Canine Activities ring.
Pam St Clement, better known as Pat Butcher from Eastenders, presented the PAT Dog of the Year Award. The recipient of this award was Muppet, a Cocker Spaniel, who brings peace and calm to sick children at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Owned by Leisl De Lafontaine, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, Muppet has been a PAT dog for five years and has brought comfort and a smile to many children during this time.
In the world of politics, Angela Burns, Welsh Assembly Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, visited dfs Crufts for the first time. Angela has been campaigning alongside the Kennel Club for fair regulation regarding dog breeding in Wales and she thoroughly enjoyed her experience today. Another politician who made a visit to the show was Roger Helmer MEP who is a great fan of rescue Greyhounds.
There was even more action taking place over in the Main Arena. The Tricky Tykes Terrier Racing Display Team thrilled the crowds with their antics and the RAF Police Dog display showed how their teams of highly trained military personnel, of both the two-legged and four-legged variety, clear a village in a combat situation.
By the end of the evening, all eyes had turned to the dogs which had been selected from the 2,235 Terriers and 3,122 Hounds who started the day hoping for a place in the Group final. The task of choosing the Terrier Best in Group fell to Phillip Greenway. Choosing from the 26 dogs was no mean feat and after some deliberation Mr Greenway chose Ch Travella Starlord, aka Henry, a Wire Fox Terrier, owned by Victor Malzoni, from Brazil.
Next up, Judge Eleanor Bothwell had to choose the Hound which would represent the Group in tomorrow’s finale. It was not an easy decision, however after careful consideration Eleanor chose Soletrader Peek A Boo, aka Jilly, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, owned by Gavin and Sara Robertson, from Oxfordshire.
Before the penultimate day draws to a close, don’t forget to vote for this year’s Friends for Life competition. The winners will be announced just before Best in Show in the main arena tomorrow. You can see the stories of all five nominees, and catch up with all the best action from the show on More4.
With only one more day to go, there are now five dogs qualified for Sunday’s prestigious Best in Show competition. Tomorrow, the final day of dfs Crufts 2011, will see the Toy and Utility Groups compete to go through to the final line up at the greatest dog show on earth. Make sure you don’t miss the thrilling climax by joining us at the NEC tomorrow.