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Crufts 2019: Highlights of day one at the Birmingham NEC event - with pictures and videos

By Rebecca Stanley | Birmingham | Attractions | Published: | Last Updated:

Thousand of handsome hounds and pampered pooches descended on Birmingham yesterday for day one of Crufts.

Clare Balding filming with Helen Reaney from Burntwood, with Mia the Black Tan Coonhound

The NEC event, which runs until Sunday, will see dozens of contests take place each day, as well as stalls and demonstrations.

WATCH the video here:

Day 1 Live | Crufts 2019

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A number of stalls were also dedicated to different breeds as experts and dog lovers educated visitors on their favourite breeds.

Among the cocker spaniel owners preparing their dogs for the show was Angela Hackett, from Shire Oak, Brownhills.

The 73-year-old was joined by six-year-old orange roan cocker spaniel Ellie and four-year-old blue roan Monty.

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The pair are already prized pooches having picked up awards for best in show in the past.

Angela said: “I’ve been breeding for over 45 years, I’ve had at least 15, maybe more, show champions over the time.

“A number of my champions have been sold abroad, Australia, Russia, all over the world.

Angela Hackett from Bronwhills (Shire Oak), with Cocker Spaniels: Monty and Elly

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“You have to win a challenge certificate under three individual judges after 12 months of age.

“Ellie won the ticket at Crufts last year, and Monty won best in show at a club show 10 days ago, there was an entry of around 160 dogs.

“It’s dedication and sticking to what I believe and not listening to other people.

“I’ve been coming to Crufts for around 40 years, It’s like a bug to be honest, I like breeding nice quality dogs.

“It isn’t already about the best looking dog, I like the personalities too.

“It’s nice to represent the Black Country here too.”

Representing Cannock was Nicole Studley who was joined with two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Cali.

The 24-year-old was on a stand with other members of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club, which meets in Shareshill, to educate people on the breed and show how friendly they really are.

From the Staffordshire Bullterriers Club is: Nicole Studley from Cannock with Cali

She said: “We’re promoting the breed and saying ‘it’s the deed, not the breed’, I’ve been with these dogs since I was young.

“They’re not dangerous dogs, I’ve never had an issue, so we promote the breed.

“I’ve been coming to Crufts since I was in my mum’s belly, I come every year.

“If I don’t come it destroys me, I love the breed and I’ve always done it.”

Helen Reaney, aged 56, from Burntwood was joined by presenter Clare Balding to celebrate her black and tan coonhound, a breed that was only officially recognised in 2018.

Mia, aged 3, was on hand to show the TV cameras what the breed, a mixture of the fox hound and blood hound, was all about.

Clare Balding filming with Helen Reaney from Burntwood, with Mia the Black Tan Coonhound

Helen said: "This is a big platform and we're hugely proud.

"Some of our dogs are already doing Lowland Rescue.

"Mia does scentwork and we do training with the police dogs, it's opened a whole new world, to me working with your dog, it doesn't compare.

"We want to show off the breed."

Hollyoaks star Jorjie Porter was also in attendance with her dog Lady to unveil Zoflora's new fragrance trail.

Jorjie Porter with her dog Lady at the first day of Crufts 2019

See our pictures from the event here:

Crufts organisers, the NEC and our own Express & Star journalist Liam Keen posted highlights from the day to social media.

Check out some of the top tweets here:

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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