Chloe-Leigh, 11, gears up for big Crufts challenge

Chloe-Leigh Findlay is 'excited but nervous' to take part in Crufts, which runs from March 7-10.
Chloe-Leigh Findlay is 'excited but nervous' to take part in Crufts, which runs from March 7-10.

A Mablethorpe schoolgirl is ‘excited but nervous’ after qualifying for Crufts this year - after achieving third place at last year’s competition in her first ever attempt.

Chloe-Leigh Findlay, who attends John Spendluffe Technology College in Alford, has qualified for the Young Kennel Club (YKC) under -12’s novice obedience class, with her Border Collie, Roxxi.

Chloe-Leigh Findlay is 'excited but nervous' to take part in Crufts, which runs from March 7-10.

Chloe-Leigh Findlay is 'excited but nervous' to take part in Crufts, which runs from March 7-10.

Chloe-Leigh is currently 11 years old, but will turn 12 at the end of February - and before the big event takes place in the first week of March.

Chloe-Leigh has also qualified for the under-18 jumping class with ‘Demon’, who is also a Border Collie.

The youngster qualified at Derbyshire Agility show in September last year for the jumping class, and qualified for the obedience at Newark YKC weekend last October - achieving first place in both.

Chloe-Leigh told the Leader: “I feel very lucky to get the chance to compete at Crufts this year again.

“I love showing people what my dogs can do, they are very special to me and I’m grateful that this year I have a good enough bond with both dogs to have been given the chance to take both to Crufts.

“It’s fun practising up to the big day and the atmosphere is amazing. I’m excited but also nervous because it’s the biggest dog show in England, and so many top handlers compete there.”

Chloe-Leigh’s mum, Sarah, said: “I’m so proud of all the hard work Chloe-Leigh puts in. She has such a great bond with all our dogs and is very hands-on with the day to day things like feeding, walking, and general wellbeing, not just the fun stuff.

“Chloe-Leigh spends the time practising to improve whenever she possibly can, meaning sometimes she gets up earlier before school or 
chooses to train rather than social events.

“She’s very determined to be ready for the big day.

“We would just like to say thank you to her obedience trainer Nicky Cracknell, and her agility trainers Lucy Norton and Ian Hutchinson, for 
all their help and guidance.”