Tuesday January 22 2019

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In Full . . .

Judge’s Crufts call-up

Posted on January 30 2018 at 12:43:45

Rachel and Rupert

A Rowney Green resident whose dogs have proved successful at Crufts will soon be seeing the show from a different angle – as a judge.

Rachel Bradley has been invited to judge the Inter-Regional Rally Team Competition in the Obedience Ring at this year’s event – only the second year that the competition has been run.

The sport was developed in America and combines elements from Competitive Obedience, Agility and Heelwork to Music.

“To be invited to judge at Crufts is an incredible honour and the pinnacle of anyone’s judging career,” says Rachel, who has been involved from the early stages of Rally.

Brought up in Tardebigge before moving to Rowney Green two years ago, Rachel has been judging Rally since 2013 and has judged across the UK. She was recently approved as one of only four Kennel Club Accredited Instructors for Rally.

However, she is also an experienced Rally competitor in her own right. She competed at the first-ever Kennel Club Rally Show, qualifying her Duck Toller, Rupert, on the day.

Rupert went on to rack up a number of breed firsts in Rally, including being the first Toller to gain his Rally Level 6 Excellent title, the highest in Rally. He won many classes and place rosettes in his career and retired at the age of 12.

Rachel’s Finnish Lapphund, Eeva, is another trail-blazer for her breed – being the first, and to date only, Lapphund to gain a Level 6 Qualifier.

“After Crufts we will work on finishing that title!” says Rachel. “My younger Tollers are following in their paw-prints and will also be out in the Rally Ring later this year.”

Rupert qualified for the Crufts show ring every year that he was shown, as well as being selected for the Dog Activities Obedience and Rally Display teams and making it into the Main Ring with both.

Rachel has also enjoyed success in the Breed Ring with the highlights being Best of Breed at Crufts – with Rupert’s brother, Ari, in 2009 – and World Winner Bitch at the World Show in Salzburg with Eeva in 2012. 

She is now passing on her skills via her Competitive Rally Club based at the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh Park, and by teaching workshops around the country.

Crufts is on at the NEC in Birmingham from March 8 to 11, with Rachel’s event on March 8. You can watch on Channel 4 and More4 as well as the Crufts YouTube livestream.

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