Nine-year-old Lowestoft dog trainer wins top award at Crufts

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 March 2016

Hannah Searby won the Kennel Club’ Special Pre-Beginners Obedience Stakes in the under 12 category.

Hannah Searby won the Kennel Club’ Special Pre-Beginners Obedience Stakes in the under 12 category.


A young dog trainer has triumphed at Crufts - coming back from the world’s largest dog show with a first place rosette.

Hannah with her pet dog Finley. Pictures: Nick Butcher/Supplied.Hannah with her pet dog Finley. Pictures: Nick Butcher/Supplied.

Nine-year-old Hannah Searby, of Townsend Way in north Lowestoft, took a first place prize at the Birmingham competition – which she entered with her four-year-old crossbreed dog Finley.

She won the Kennel Club’s Special Pre-Beginners Obedience Stakes in the under-12 category, showing off the pair’s heelwork and recall abilities.

Finley, a four-year-old springer spaniel-lhasa apso cross and Hannah train every week at the Great Yarmouth Dog Training Club and compete regularly.

“I was nervous but I was excited too,” said the Blundeston Primary School pupil. “I’m very, very happy to have won.

“When I come home from school, Finley is always there waiting for me.

“The best part about Crufts was when I walked round with him and he was concentrating on me.”

Hannah qualified for the competition in September, and has been working extra hard with Finley before competing on Friday, March 11 against 10 other youngsters from across Great Britain.

She said: “We gave him a bath about a week before and kept brushing him quite often,”

The pair only had five minutes to impress the judges, who examined the way Finley looked, as well as how the pair worked together on heelwork and recall.

And after they were announced as winners, Hannah said Finley would get a few extra dog treats in his bowl.

Mum Sue Searby said: “I’m really proud, it’s the biggest dog show in the world and they both just took it in their stride.

“It was amazing that she even qualified in the first place.

“I had tears in my eyes when the announced they had won and they really are the best of friends – they’re inseparable.”

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