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Andrea and Ruby get ready for Crufts

Andrea and Ruby will be competing at Crufts this weekend. Ruby in action.

Andrea and Ruby will be competing at Crufts this weekend.

Ruby in action.

LISBURN and District Dog Training Club member Andrea Skelly and her dog Ruby, will be making their debut appearance at Crufts this week.

Andrea qualified with Ruby last June for the prestigious International Agility Final and will be
competing against some of the top dogs in the world. Only one dog from each country can qualify for the final. There will be competitors there from Sweden, South Africa, USA, Slovakia and from as far away as New Zealand.

"I've been so close to qualifying for Crufts before and never made it, so I'm so excited about walking out on the green carpet on Saturday," said Andrea

The combination has previously represented Ireland in 2008 at the European Championships in Holland and has also been selected this year to represent Northern Ireland in May at the World Agility Open in Bristol.

All this continues on from an extremely successful season for Andrea and Ruby.

At the Northern Dogs annual points presentation, they were awarded all four league Trophies for 2010, the first time this has ever happened with one dog.

Ruby won Open Agility Dog of the Year, Senior Agility Dog of the Year, Jumping Dog of the Year and Overall Agility and Jumping Dog of the Year. She also won the three winter league trophies for 09/10. Agility, Jumping and Overall awards.

"Ruby is such a fantastic dog. No dog has ever won all seven league trophies in one year and I am so lucky to have her. She tries her hardest every time, but win or lose, she's always the best.

Andrea added: "Agility really brings you closer to your dog. I've put a lot of work in but it never ceases to amaze me how smart and eager to please dogs are."

Ulster Star