Mixed fortunes at Crufts

MIXED fortunes met the many dog-lovers from the across the borough whose pets were vying for top awards at Crufts at the weekend. Months of preparation came to a conclusion at the 2010 DFS Crufts at Birmingham's NEC which involved 28,000 canine entries.

MIXED fortunes met the many dog-lovers from the across the borough whose pets were vying for top awards at Crufts at the weekend.

Months of preparation came to a conclusion at the 2010 DFS Crufts at Birmingham's NEC which involved 28,000 canine entries.

But while there was disappointment for some tails were wagging elsewhere and now Jessica Leeder, aged 12, from Gorleston can boast owning the 4th best Post Graduate Bitch with her Italian greyhound Lucy in the breed class.

Jessica, who was featured in last week's Mercury, suffers from autism but has found a niche in dog showing which briefly frees her from the imprisonment of the condition. And now after less than a year's involvement in the hobby she has come away from Crufts with a rosette beating off six other contenders in a class of 10 from as far as Sweden and France.


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Mum Sarah Leeder said that to be judged against adults and do so well was a huge triumph, achieved in front of her beaming sisters, grandparents and stepdad who all travelled up the night before ahead of a 9am appearance in front of the judges.

Mrs Leeder said that despite all the buzz of activity at Crufts Jessica kept her cool to perform exactly what was asked, completing a line-up, triangle and reposition.

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Among those who also did well were Sheila and Mark Baldwin of Great Yarmouth, whose Bedlington Terrier came third in her limit class, and Mrs Hockold, also of Yarmouth, who scored a third place with one of her dogs.

Not so fortunate, however, was poor French Bulldog Phoebe, pet of Mrs Chadwick from Ingham, who had to pull out just before the competition due to illness.

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