Claire and Aspen win at Crufts
Claire Crichton, whose family lives in Newstead, but is currently posted in Loughborough, won The Kennel Club Large Novice ABC (Anything But Collies) agility competition, after battling it out against eight other finalists on Friday, March 10.
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, who joined the RAF 12 years ago after working in the BGH, 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.
"She’s just brilliant, when she’s not running around like mad on an obstacle course, she’s also a therapet who is incredible with the patients at the medical rehab centre at Loughborough.
“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.”
Claire told us there was one special person in the crowd cheering her on, her dad, Dr Jack Crichton, who travelled on the train all the way to Birmingham, aged 93.
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.”