The youth team of local Flyball club Brigg Muttley Crew will be going head to head with the best youth teams in the country at Crufts International Dog Show, held in March at the NEC.
The team whose members are aged 11 – 19 qualified when they won the East Midlands Qualifiers Competition held last summer in Birmingham.
Passionate about both dogs and Flyball the team members and their families compete for Brigg Muttley Crew at events around the country including the British Flyball Association Indoor and Outdoor championships.
Qualifying to walk into the main arena at the world’s largest and most prestigious dog shows is a dream come true for the team.
Youth Team Captain Lydia Smith (23) said: “The fast paced nature of Flyball means that not only do the team need strong bonds with their dogs but also with each other, to enable them to react and respond during the race. The girls have worked really hard as a team this year and it’s fantastic to see them qualify, I am so proud of them.”
The team comprises Jennifer Ketley (17) and her dog Ted, Coral Wright (19) and Cocoa, Ellie Keyworth (11) and Annie, Emily Dabb (12) and Timmy, and Molly Taylor (17) who will be box loading.
The youth team will be joining Brigg Muttley Crews first team who have also qualified for Crufts in March, so the club will be aiming for a double celebration.
BMC Captain Mary Carter-Bathgate said “I’m thrilled to have both teams qualify for this year’s Crufts, we have a lot of fun with our dogs and Flyball but we also work hard which I think is reflected in our success. I can’t wait to see our teams in the main Cruft arena.”
The Young Kennel Club (YKC) is the Kennel Club’s organisation for dog-mad children and youngsters aged 6 to 24 but the teams are only allowed 1 hander over 19. The organisation encourages its members to enjoy a number of different activities with their dogs, and promotes good dog ownership, good sportsmanship, responsibility and cooperation.
- Flyball is a fast and furious sport which came to the UK from the USA.
- It made its debut at Crufts in 1990.
- At competitions, four-dog teams race in parallel lanes, with dogs negotiating hurdles to reach a special box that they turn on.
- Once triggered by the dog, the box launches a tennis ball which the dog must catch and return to its handler.
- Just like in any other relay race, speed and timing is everything, with dogs passing each other shoulder to shoulder in a space no more than four foot wide.
- The current world record for completing a four-dog relay race is 14.182 seconds.