Cories Ray of Sunshine, known at home as Razor and listed on The Kennel Clubâs activity register as an Australian Kelpie, recently made history when he won his Obedience Champion title. He is owned by Nina Whitnell of Colchester, Essex.
Razorâs achievements are unique, as no other Kelpie in the UK has ever qualified for the championship obedience class nor won an Obedience Certificate, let alone claimed an Obedience Champion crown.
Although the breed is not currently recognised by he Kennel Club, it has been exhibited in its native Australia since 1908 and received recognition by the FĂ©dĂ©ration Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in Belgium in 1989. In Australia, Kelpies regularly perform well in various canine activities including obedience and herding tests.
Razor won his first Obedience Certificate at Wirral Alsatian Training Society show in 2019 under judge Robert Bint. He then won his second and third âticketsâ earlier this month on consecutive days at Wigton Dog Training Club show under judge Kathy Russell and Lune Valley Dog Training Club show under judge Neil Walton, thus claiming his champion crown.
Razor is the second Kelpie acquired by Nina from breeder Ann Jordan, having bought her first one 12 years ago. âI simply was searching the internet for a new breed after owning Australian Shepherds and fancied a change,â explained Nina. âI loved the look of the Kelpies and still do now. People always say but itâs a short coat breed but that has never fazed me, because, if a heelwork position is taught correctly, coat or no coat shouldnât make a difference.â
Nina is a former member of the Kennel Club Junior Organisation, now known as the Young Kennel Club, and started training and competing when she was just five years old with Border Collies. Over the years, she has owned numerous breeds including a rehomed Jack Russell Terrier who worked as far as B and C in obedience and won two Bs. Nina loves a challenge and likes to do what has not been tried before, so she has recently acquired a Dutch Herder puppy.
Nina added: âAlthough Razor has his moments, he has been a very straightforward dog to train and is very eager to please. He was meant for obedience so when he won his third Certificate it was a massive relief, as we had finally completed our mission. It was always going to be a case of whether I was a good enough handler to take him there and we had finally got it all together on not one but two consecutive days. The response from family, friends and fellow competitors has been overwhelming. My phone has not stopped and social media has gone bananas at the news.â
Sue Garner, Chairman of The Kennel Clubâs Activities Committee, said: âMany congratulations to Nina on winning Razorâs Obedience Champion title. It is very exciting to have different breeds and types of dog gain such awards, to show that success in obedience is achievable with a wide range of dogs.â