‘ALWAYS THE bridesmaid, never the bride’, goes the old lament, usually applied to those who come in second. However, in taking Reserve Best in show at this year’s Crufts, Wire Fox Terrier Ch Travella Show Stopper may not be quite the bride, but she’s certainly Matron of Honour!
Twenty-two-month-old ‘Peggy’ is owned by Bill Cole from Bristol and, in her short life, she has built up an impressive CV of show awards, having won 11 Groups, 2 Best In Shows, 2 Reserve Best In Shows and has taken the Pet Plan Breeder Awards.
At this year’s Crufts, Peggy was an unstoppable force – in taking the bitch ticket, she beat last year’s overall Reserve Best in show. She performed faultlessly in the main ring on Sunday night, earning herself whoops of delight and cheers from the audience. She was pipped to the top spot by Tibetan Terrier Ch/Am Ch Araki Fabulous Willy, but was a worthy Reserve, much to the delight of her many fans.
So had Bill been pleased with Peggy’s placing? ‘Without a shadow of a doubt,’ he says animatedly. ‘She was looking great and moved wonderfully. I’ve had e-mails and phone calls from people all over the world congratulating me on her success. Just before talking to you, I’ve just taken a phone call from a chap in Poland who wanted to congratulate us. My only regret in all of this is that I won’t be able to show her next year at Crufts, as I’m judging the group!’
Many people had tipped Peggy as ‘going the distance’ at Crufts – had Bill been equally confident? ‘Without wishing to sound arrogant, I normally go to Crufts and expect to win well,’ he says. ‘Of course it’s always fingers crossed, but I’m usually fortunate enough to win the CC and possibly the group. This year though, it’s strange, but I just knew she was going to win big, I knew she was good enough to take Best in show or Reserve and told several people that.
My wife Sue kept saying to me ‘Oh, don’t keep saying that and tempting fate’, but when she won her group, we both knew she was in with a chance. As I was walking to the holding area for the Best in show judging, she grabbed my arm and said: ‘Do you think she’ll win?’ and I said ‘I reckon the Tibetan Terrier will get Best in show and she’ll get Reserve. How uncanny is that? I just felt it – almost like a premonition.’
And the secret of Peggy’s wonderful condition and success?
‘We walk two to four miles every day at Snuff Mills, near where I live – we follow the course of the river,’ replies Bill. ‘It’s good for me as well as her! She has fantastic muscle structure and bone because of it.
‘It’s funny too, but obviously we’d gone back to Bristol after Best of Breed judging and early on the Sunday morning, before I set off for Birmingham, we went for our usual walk along Snuff Mills for some quiet contemplation before the show, and this lady out walking her dog came up, pointed at Peggy and said ‘Oooh! I saw one of them winning on Crufts last night!’ I told her that Peggy was the one and she kept saying ‘Ooo-er! Oh my goodness!’ Then she ran up to a chap walking his Labrador, pointed over to us and started telling him it was us! So much for our quiet preparation!’
Peggy is from a long line of winners, not least of which being her parents. Her sire Ch Travella Stand And Deliver which previously won the CC at Crufts and was the Overall Winner of the Pet Plan Junior Stakes. Her dam Ch Travella Smart Design also took the CC at a previous Crufts and won the final of the Pedigree Chum Champion Stakes.
‘She had a fantastic Crufts and showed like a dream, in the main ring,’ adds Bill. ‘Many, many thanks to Richard Allen, who handled her to perfection, as he always does. And many thanks from Sue and myself to everybody who has congratulated us on Peggy’s win. She’s got a lot of road ahead of her, and I think she will walk it well.’
Hill’s celebrate Crufts’ successes!
Hill’s Pet Nutrition have realised greater success at Crufts 2007 than ever before! Two of the Crufts group winners – Wire Fox Terrier Peggy who went RBIS and the winner of the Working group, Alaskan Malamute Biagiotti’s Alaskan Malamute Int/It/Sp/SM/Mon/Fin Ch Giving a New Royal Star De Jungla Negra - are fed on Hill’s™ Science Plan™.
Hill’s are right to be proud of this achievement. With 22,320 top dogs competing in 2,000 classes, culminating in only seven prized places in the Best in Show final – two out of seven is a fantastic achievement!
Hill’s has a strong team of advisors that works closely with the breeders on the dog-showing circuit to ensure the right diet is fed to meet each show dog’s individual needs. Martin Sanders, Hill’s Breeder Show Manager accompanied Peggy’s owners in their preparation for Sunday night’s Best in show final. ‘We knew Peggy was special, reaching the main arena for Best in show was the culmination of many months working with Peggy’s team and Reserve Best in show is a fabulous outcome!’ Martin exclaimed.
Hill’s™ Science Plan™ provides the very best in everyday nutrition for healthy pets, whatever their breed or lifestyle, and is the number one recommended brand for pets by veterinarians.