A VISIT to Crufts proved to be a day to remember for a Wokingham schoolgirl after she walked away with a top prize, writes Max Chesterton.
Dog lover Nicole Owells, 16, was at Birmingham’s NEC for the 127th edition of the world’s largest dog show.
The Emmbrook School pupil was there to take part in the Young Kennel Club’s Handling competition.
Competing with eight-and-a-half year-old Newfoundland Cooper the duo caught the eye of the judges, picking up first prize in the category for youngsters aged 12-16.
And it’s not the first time that she has seen success at Crufts. The teenager has now notched up four different wins at the ever-popular show.
An estimated 22,000 pooches visited the NEC during the four-day event, hosted by the Kennel Club, with a record 3,623 four-legged-friends from 49 countries vying for the chance to win the coveted Best in Show.
Visitors learnt about 200 different breeds at the Discover Dogs zone, crossbreeds competed for the Scruffts crown and the Friends for Life event aimed to remind people about the truly inspiring and unique stories that show dogs at their absolute best.
And for Nicole – a member of Frimley & Camberley Ringcraft Club, which meets at Eversley Village Hall – the chance to take centre stage alongside her beloved Cooper was something she had relished.
“I was not expecting that. I am very pleased. The result was completely overwhelming and I just didn’t expect it,” she said.
“Crufts is such an amazing competition and to win it again it means so much to me.
“No matter how many times you win it, every year it gets better and better every time.
“This is my fourth win at Crufts and this year it is the first year that I have won it back to back.
“I am so proud of Cooper, she will be getting extra spoilt.”