A MEMBER of a new dog training club based in Warwickshire has been selected to represent the Midlands in a sport making its debut at Crufts this year.
Leanne Ward and her rescue lurcher Brodie belong to Stoneleigh Rally, a club which launched at Stoneleigh Park in February to offer tuition in rally, the canine sport fast-growing in popularity.
The duo only started rallying a year ago and yet have qualified for a team of eight representing the Midlands in an inter-regional competition at the world’s largest dog show taking place at the NEC from March 9 to 12.
Leanne, a senior customer service advisor at the National Farmers Union headquarters at Stoneleigh Park, said: “I went to a try-out for the Midlands team and just treated it as another lesson and experience for training, never expecting anything to come of it.
“Although Brodie is very smart and quite versatile as a lurcher, she isn’t the easiest of dogs which I think stems from her background of having been dumped as a puppy about six years ago.
“So when I found out that we had been selected, I was really shocked but delighted at the same time.
“She is the reserve dog so will be on stand-by in case any of the others have to drop out at the last minute but is still very much part of the team. We will be doing some training in front of the crowds and walking the courses.”