Crufts is a dream come true for Sussex sporting underdogs

Qualifying for Crufts in as absolute dream for the Southern Striders.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 8:45 am
The Southern Striders are Crufts-bound

Qualifying for Crufts in as absolute dream for the Southern Stirders.

Established only in 2019, the team were formed through six friends and their dogs, having a drink at a local pub.

From this point forward, they invited other dog lovers to come and try flyball, and they went from their four dogs, to now having four competing teams and 30 dogs!

Becky Wickens, head trainer, said: “Only three years later, we have just achieved our biggest accomplishment yet, we have qualified for Crufts!

“The Crufts competition is very fast, and full of border collies and whippet breeds to give speed.

“Our team defies all the odds, with cocker spaniels and labradors, we truly are the underdogs.

“Nevertheless, our trusted and consistent team took to the lanes at Paws in the Park, Kent, and ran clean.

“We took first place at the qualifier and we’re off to Crufts in March 2022.”

Flyball is a sport for all breeds, and isn’t just about being the fastest.

Good luck goes to box loader Joe and all their handlers: Ian & Bailey / Mark & Ness / Rachel & Secret / Vicky & Taff / Dom & Otis / Natalie & Bailey / Becky & Obi.

Captain Natalie Wiles said: “I couldn’t wish to step on to that green carpet with anyone else other than my amazing teammates. Behind everything we do and strive to achieve, we are a family through thick and thin and I cannot express just how proud I am of all our dogs and handlers to have qualified for Crufts. Whatever we achieve while there is just icing on the cake!” You can follow the team on Facebook – SouthernStridersFT.