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Spalding woman Robyn Sinclair to compete at Crufts with cocker spaniel Jasper

A woman says it will be a ‘dream come true’ to win a dog agility class with her beloved cocker spaniel at Crufts.

Robyn Sinclair and five-year-old Jasper will be walking out into the main arena at the NEC at Birmingham today (Friday) to tackle two rounds of jumping and dog agility courses in a bid to win a coveted rosette.

When they head out onto that renowned green carpet at around 10.30am, it will be the culmination of months of hardwork in training and fitness to get to the world’s most famous dog show after qualifying at the London International Horse Show in December.

Robyn Sinclair and Jasper will be competing at Crufts
Robyn Sinclair and Jasper will be competing at Crufts

Robyn, of Spalding, is thrilled to have the opportunity to compete at Crufts - a dream she has cherished since embarking on her agility journey nearly a decade ago with her older dog Monty.

She said: “Jasper is the perfect dog. This sport really builds a strong bond between you as you are doing something together. We have a really good bond and he is eager to please. Working breeds do well at agility.

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“He is the perfect dog, a sweetheart who loves a cuddle but when he gets to agility he switches on as it is his favourite thing.

“To win, it would be the best thing in the world - it would be a dream come true.”

Robyn, who used to enjoy training the family St Bernards as a child, got into dog agility as a way of wearing out her other dog, Monty, and then got the bug for the sport.

She said: “I went from having one dog to five dogs in two years. I ended up spending very weekend during the summer at competitions.

“I love dogs and I love dog agility as I think it is a great way of training dogs. I have a competitive nature and when I found out you could compete in dog agility it was the best news in the world.

“It’s a great sense of achievement to train a dog and work together to do something. My life has changed completely since I found dog agility.”

Robyn and Jasper, a working cocker spaniel from Breezybrook Gun Dogs in Bedfordshire, have been taking part in agility competitions together since June 2021.

Since then they came runner-up in the Crufts Novice Cup 2023 and were awarded a Championship Reserve ticket in Northern Ireland last September.

The Medium ABC (anything but a Collie) competition at Crufts comprises two challenging rounds: jumping and agility.

Robyn and Jasper will showcase their skills in navigating courses featuring jumps, tunnels, weaves, and the iconic contact equipment—the A-Frame, See-Saw, and Dog Walk.

The partnership with the fewest faults and the fastest time across both rounds will emerge victorious, with the overall winner determined by the best combined results.

Robyn, who trains in Twenty and West Pinchbeck, said: “It is a combination of being very excited and slightly nervous. It is our second year in the main ring so we are very excited.

“Qualification to get there happens over the course of a year. You go to different competitions over the season and you can be competing in ten different classes in an attempt to win points. If win first place you get ten points.

“We qualified in December and the hard work has been done just to get there in the first place.

“It is very exciting to get there and a great achievement and I am here to enjoy it. So many people want to get there you just have to suck it up and enjoy the atmosphere.”

- – You can watch Robyn and Jasper in action on the Crufts livestream on the show’s website from 10.30am today (Friday).

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