A real family affair at Crufts - as brother and sister go head-to-head!

Dylan Smith and his sister, Grace, at Crufts earlier this month.
Dylan Smith and his sister, Grace, at Crufts earlier this month.

Dylan and Grace Smith might only be young siblings, but they are already seasoned competitors when it comes to Crufts - and this year, they were successful once again.

Dylan (15) and his Border Collie, Chase, won the YKC Advanced Heelwork to Music for their age category (12-18), in what was their 7th year competing at Crufts earlier this month.

Dylan also took his rescue dog, a young German Spitz named Teddy, for the first time into the YKC Novice Heelwork to Music Freestyle (12-18), and won that class too.

For the first time in this age category it was a real family affair, with Dylan going head-to-head against his sister Grace (12) who was taking part in this higher age category for the first time.

Despite being pipped to the post by her big brother, Grace was still pleased to achieve second place in the YKC Novice Heelwork to Music Freestyle category with her Labrador, Floyd.

The Grimoldby siblings, who attend Louth Academy, are members of the Louth & District Dog Club and train with their grandma, Carol Mortimer.

And, as always, the youngsters were both delighted with their success.

Dylan said: “I’m so proud to still be competing with Chase, and I am even more proud to be competing with my rescue dog Teddy.

“I always feel successful reaching Crufts with the dogs, but this year especially having taken both of my dogs.”

Grace added: “Being one of the youngest competitors in this age category made it very hard this year - then being up against my brother made it even harder!

“But Floyd and I just went in and enjoyed ourselves.

“Its takes lots of dedication and hard work to get to Crufts, and I hope I can qualify with my young Border Collie, Storm, for next year.”

• Dylan and Grace’s cousin Louise Leverton, age 17, from Grimoldby, also competed with her Border Collie, Rosie, in the YKC Novice Heelwork to Music (12 - 18) and won her class.