FOUR working dogs and handlers from the Isle of Man are looking forward to competing at this year’s Crufts dog show.
The world’s biggest dog show will be held at the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday, March 10, to Sunday, March 13.
Manx team liaison officer Tracy McKinlay said: ‘Training for this event requires dedication, patience and understanding.
‘The dogs have to enjoy the experience and look forward to their training, and likewise the owners have equally as much fun working with their dogs as well as socialising with like minded folk.
‘It is certainly a great honour to represent the island at such a prestigious show.’
The Manx contingent will be using brains rather than beauty as they will be taking part in obedience and agility competitions.
On Thursday, young handler Voirrey Horne and Muffin, a seven-year-old black cocker spaniel, are working the beginners’ class.
Voirrey has been training since she was 11 years old and is excited to be competing this year as this may be her last chance as she is off to university in September. They train with Ramsey Dog Training Club.
Also competing on Thursday is Theresa Smith and Tara, a four-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who will be competing in the novice Class of the same competition.
Tara competes and enjoys obedience and agility as well as being a typical mischievous Cavalier and a loving family pet.
Theresa is an instructor at the Isle of Man Dog Obedience and Agility Club.
Tracy McKinlay is competing with Storm, a six-and-a-half-year-old Border Collie, in the Obedience World Cup Team competition on the Sunday.
This is Storm’s fourth year at Crufts. Last year their team won this competition and individually Storm and Tracy were placed joint fourth.
Storm is a handsome gentleman of a dog and adores his work as well as Tracy’s 22-month-old grand daughter, Aalish.
On Saturday, Sharon Duchars and four-year-old Molly are representing the island in the international agility event.
Sharon trains with the Douglas Dog Training Club and has had Molly since she rescued her at the age of four months in extremely bad health.
Nursing her back to fitness and over many difficulties, she is now one of the top agility dogs in the Isle of Man and a perfect family pet.