Best in Borders on their way to take on best in world

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A TOTAL of 38 dogs from the Borders will take on the best in the canine competition world when they appear at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, next month, writes Mark Entwistle.

The varied selection from the region includes a Skye terrier from Newcastleton; a Hungarian wirehaired vizsla from Hawick; a boxer from Melrose and a Russian black terrier from Selkirk.

More than 21,000 dogs from all around the UK and overseas will compete for the prestigious Best in Show trophy at this year’s show, at the NEC Birmingham from March 8 to 11.

Among those from the Borders competing, will be Susan Portsmouth from near Morebattle, whose Border terrier, Fizz, has qualified for the third time.

Susan, who’s been a Border terrier enthusiast for 10 years, says the whole Crufts experience is incredible. “It is so big and the atmosphere is brilliant,” she told us yesterday.

“It is an amazing feeling when you and your dog walk out on that green carpet – even though it’s over in a flash. But it’s a wonderful experience.”

As well as the prestigious championship final, dogs and owners will also be competing in a variety of competitions including the international agility championship and the popular Friends for Life contest.

This year the show will once again be televised on More4, with two-and-a-half hours of coverage every night, presented by Clare Balding.

Caroline Kisko, communications director at the Kennel Club, commented: “Crufts is a celebration of the relationship between dogs and their owners, and is full of events that showcase the diverse role that dogs play in society.

“Competitors from all over the UK will descend on the NEC, as well as from nearly 40 other countries across the globe, to take part in our world famous celebration of all things canine.”