TOP dogs in Gwent are preparing for this year’s Crufts, the world’s largest dog show.

The show, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday to Sunday this week, will see more than 35 dog owners from across Gwent taking their loved pets to the prestigious show.

One of the Gwent dogs who will be joining the show is Rufus - a crossbreed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. The one-year-old dog will be taking part in the Scruffts section of the show, which celebrates crossbreeds.

Owner Laura Kirke, from Mon Bank, in Newport, said more than 1,300 dogs took part in heats all around the country and there are six finalists who will be competing for the title of Family Dog of the Year in the main arena at Crufts this Saturday.

Ms Kirke’s son Dylan, 13, said: “I’m looking forward to the whole day at Crufts. From meeting all the other dogs and all the people involved, to stepping out in the main ring.

“I know there’s going to be thousands of people watching but I’m excited to be out there showing off Rufus more than anything. I’m not nervous at all because I’ll be with my best friend.

“I think we’ve got a great chance but I feel like we’ve won already. Whatever happens on the day, I get to take home the best dog.”

Rubi, a Border Terrier who is three and a half years old, will be at Crufts on Friday.

Owner Sarah Ritchie, from Cwmbran, said Rubi is her first home-bred champion and already has three challenge certificates.

“At home she is mummy's girl and loves to have a cuddle on the sofa,” she added. “She loves her walks and just loves to run as fast as she can and chase the odd rabbit.”

Another Gwent dog who will be participating in the world-famous dog show is William – a two-and-a-half-year-old Afghan Hound from Newport.

Owner Jeffrey Burns, from the Corporation Road area, said William has done well in shows so far and already has two reserve challenge certificates.

Mr Burns continued: “He is well-regarded in the show world.

“He is the third Afghan Hound I have owned and they have all qualified for Crufts.”

Winnie, a two-year-old Airedale Terrier, will also be at Crufts on Friday.

Owner Andraya Jeffreys, from the Ridgeway area of Newport, said Winnie has been showing for six months and has not been a champion yet.

Ms Jeffreys added: "Her favourite thing is chasing squirrels. She is very affectionate and loving."

She said she enjoys showing in competitions because it is exciting and quite social.

This is the full list of Gwent participants:


Mr J Burns, from Newport

Mrs C M Watkins, from Crosskeys

Ms D Steer, from Brynmawr


Mrs A Jeffreys, from Newport


Ms S Ritchie, from Cwmbran

Mrs J Barrett-Williams, from Pontypool

Miss S Evans, from Pontypool

Miss D & Miss C Whitney Winter, from Ebbw Vale

Miss Owen, from Newport


S M Davies, from Newport

Miss S Flower, from Newport

Mrs J Fricker, from Pontypool

Miss S L Davies, from Tredegar

Mr A & Mrs J Taylor & Atyeo, from Pontypool


Mrs C A Felton Blyth, from Monmouth

Ms J E A & Mrs S Crowley & Adams, from Newport

Mr D & Miss S Baynton & Bebb, from Ebbw Vale

Miss H, Miss S & Mr J Rose, Morris and Evans, from Pontypool

S, N & A & J Morris, Stainsby Soanes and Evans, from Pontypool


Mr W H & Mrs J, Mrs S & Mrs J Quigley, Day & Piper, from Pontypool

Mrs S C & Mrs G Vincent & Speight, from Ebbw Vale

Mrs N George, from Newport

Miss V M Dunn, from Caldicot

Mrs V & Miss K Sanders, from Monmouth


Mrs B & Mr A Bethell, from Abertillery

Mr C J & Mrs E S Jones, from Newport

Mr M & Mrs H Buckingham, from Crosskeys

Ms J Mahoney, from Pontypool

Mr C & Mrs L Walker, from Blackwood


Ms A U Thomas, from Newport

Mr J & Mrs E Cox, from Blackwood

Miss S L Toomer, from Newport

Mr S R J & Mrs S James, from Newbridge

Mr M Ford, from Langstone


Mrs J Janes, from Brithdir

S A Hoskins, from Magor