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--Team Competes for First Time at Crufts 2004--

New York, NY-The American Kennel Club announced today the members of the AKC's first Obedience World Team, who will compete in the UK's prestigious Crufts Dog Show in 2004.

The team, consisting of three canine/handler teams and one alternate, was selected from the top Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) dogs in the country. The four dogs earning the highest number of OTCH points from January 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003 are as follows:

· Joanne Johnson, Sioux Falls, SD
OTCH Jo's Xpensif Hobi O'Redfield UDX MX AXJ - Shetland Sheepdog

· Lynn Heidinger, Tinley Park, IL
NOC OTCH Sunfire's Toast Of The Town UDX - Golden Retriever

· Louise Fox Meredith/Anne Marie Silverton, Tehachapi, CA
CH OTCH Highland Limited Edition UDX - Border Collie

· Dr. Jose Martinez/Caryl Martinez, Council Bluffs, IA
OTCH Tanbarks Road To Glory UDX - Golden Retriever

The Crufts new International Obedience Test will be held on Sunday, March 7th 2004 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England. Teams from a number of countries worldwide have been invited to compete. The test will represent a mixture of exercises taken from the Kennel Club (UK) and AKC Obedience competitions, as well as the 2002 FCI World Obedience Championships.

The Crufts Show Committee has selected Mrs. Linda White, a well-respected UK Championship Obedience Judge to take charge of this inaugural competition. For the winning teams consisting of three dogs and handlers from various countries, awards will be offered (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places); individual awards for competition (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) will be awarded as well.