Ellie Campbell (16), from Banbridge, and her three-year-old Poodle cross, Fern, took first place in the Small Kennel Club Novice Cup semi-finals earlier this month, qualifying the pair to compete at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, in March 2024 against five other competing pairs.
Thrilled owner, Ellie, who has been competing in agility for nearly two years, said of their achievement: “Fern has been the best first agility dog I could ever ask for.
“Winning the Novice Cup semi-final is a dream come true and I can't wait to compete with her in the main arena at Crufts as I think she will love the crowd watching her do what she loves most.
“She has already achieved so much even though she is still a very young dog, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to compete with her at the world's biggest dog show."
The action-packed four-day festival, which is supported by Skinner’s, welcomed dogs of every size, shape and breed.
Skilled competitors from all over the UK and abroad entered the rings to navigate the jumps, weaves and tunnels.
Ben Skinner, of Skinner’s, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and competitors of The Kennel Club International Agility Festival.
“It is wonderful to see everyone enjoying competing at the festival again this year – we are always proud to sponsor this incredible event.
“It is inspiring to see the dedication and skill displayed by all the competitors and their dogs. Everyone who has taken part should be very proud of their achievements in the ring.”
Catherine Guiver, Head of Events at The Kennel Club, said: “Congratulations to all the winners at this year’s International Agility Festival!
“We look forward to seeing winners of the Novice Cup semi-finals return to compete at Crufts next year!
“And well done to all the dogs and handlers that have competed and shown great skill and confidence in the rings over the last four days.”
More information about The Kennel Club International Agility Festival and results from the event can be found at thekennelclub.org.uk/IAF.
For those interested in getting started in agility with their dog, a specially-made video can be found at thekennelclub.org.uk/newtoagility.