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    Dog handlers all set for Crufts

    NewsDog EventsWednesday 07 March 2012
    Flyball trainers are hoping their dogs can bring home the gold for the city at Crufts next weekend.
    Junior members of Wakefield Dog Training Club and their loyal companions won first prize in a qualifying event in Newark last October.
    And confident canines, Border Collies Frosty, Dale, Bryn, Kizzy, Bailey and Barney will now be pitted against other teams of dogs from across the UK at the national final at Crufts.
    Team captain Michael Minich said the group had come along way since failing to qualify at an earlier attempt in Melton Mowbray last July.
    He said: “They’ve worked so hard to get here and I am really proud of them. I have told them that the hard work has been done in qualifying and that they should just enjoy themselves out there.”
    Flyball is a relay race where the dogs have to run over a series of hurdles, collect a tennis ball and bring it back to their handler.
    Mr Minich, who has been a trainer with the club for about 10 years, said it would not be an easy ride at the event, at the NEC in Birmingham.
    “It’s a strange atmosphere at Crufts, quite noisy with people shouting and other dogs barking in the background. It is something you just can’t prepare for.
    “It all depends how the dogs react when they get there – but they are always very focused when they see a flyball run. Thankfully we will be the first to compete. If the team does what I know they can do then they’ve got a good chance.”
    The club trains at Owl Lane, in Ossett.
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