I think most of us were moved when we watched Crufts 2016 and saw young handler Charley and her whippet Hazel (Champion Nothing Compares To You At Crosscop JW) move as one around the ring and subsequently be awarded Reserve Best in Show! Charley has been handling since she was young teenager and is an inspiration to all hopeful young handlers, not only in her success but in the way she conducts herself in and out of the ring and her thirst for knowledge on all things dog!
What do you most look forward to at Crufts?
I’m most looking forward to meeting up with friends from all around, not only the UK, but the world. I’m also looking forward to spending all four days there, where I’ll be continuously learning about new breeds. Finally, I’m of course very excited to get Hazel, my Basenji Jayda and my Vizsla Valerie back on the famous green carpet!
What have you & Hazel been up to since you won Reserve Best in Show at Crufts last year?
Since Crufts last year Hazel and myself have been on a mammoth journey! We have attended every Championship Show bar one! We have had a lot of success, Hazel has won; 20 CCs, 4 Group 1s, 2 Group 2, 2 Group 3 and a Group 4. Best in Shows at the two biggest Hound Shows – Hound Association of Scotland and The Hound Show, as well as Best in Show at WELKS – an all breed show and finally RBIS at SKC in May. All this added to her Crufts wins made Hazel not only Top Hound but Top Dog all Breeds 2016!!!
We hear you have a trip across the pond this year. What have you got planned?
This year I’d really like to take time to improve myself as a handler and I believe that the USA is the best place to learn. When I’m out there I’m hoping to learn to groom, present and watch some of the greatest handlers America has. You never stop learning and when an opportunity like this comes you just can’t say no!!
If you could recommend one Dorwest product what would it be and why?
My favourite product by far is Omega Star! When my Jayda had a horrible allergic reaction to pollen, it eased the redness and helped her on the road to recovery. As well as helping her allergy it gave her coat an amazing shine and made her skin so healthy. It’s truly magical stuff!
What is your favourite Crufts memory?
It has to be entering that BIS ring for the first time with Hazel and hearing the massive cheer. So many people had stayed to watch her and whenever I watch it back, I tear up. What made it the most special was my mum, she hadn’t seen me show since 2014, and she was up in the stands rallying the crowds to cheer louder and louder! She’s truly my biggest support!
What top tips would you give to young handlers?
I would tell them to never give up. Even when you come first or last, there is always something you can improve on. Get someone to video you so you can watch it back. If you’re just new to handling go along to a show and watch some of the older handlers. You’ll pick up a thing or two. Also look at joining the YKC http://www.ykc.org.uk/ they offer help, guidance and also hold training days throughout the year where you can work with some of the best handlers the UK has to offer!
We are delighted that Charley & Hazel will be on the Dorwest Stand from 1pm – 2pm on Saturday 11th March 2017. Charley will be happy to answer your questions and share her experiences with you. Dorwest are located in Hall 4, Stand 72