It’s no dog’s life for Derry Crufts winner ‘Reilly’

Harold Quigg with the Kerry Blue, Reilly.
Harold Quigg with the Kerry Blue, Reilly.

A dog from Derry is wagging its tail for joy after being picked as the ‘Best of Breed’ for Kerry Blues - in the renowned Crufts Internatiuonal Dog Show.

‘Reilly,’ the dog, trained by Harold and Helena Quigg, claimed top honours in the Kerry Blue category and went on to compete in the Terrier Section, picking up the ribbon for third place.

Owner Helena, who is delighted to be celebrating her best ever win at the tournament, revealed that the dog that came in first in the Terrier Section, went on to win the “Best in Show” accolade.

The couple from the Waterside currently own, train and compete with five dogs, all Kerry Blues.

‘Reilly’ qualified for Crufts after competing in a competition in Liverpool in October winning best dog and picking up a challenge certificate.

A dog needs three certificates to become a champion and ‘Reilly’ collected his third certificate at Crufts.

Helena revealed that to excel in Crufts the dog has to display real showmanship.

Harold was the one on hand as ‘Reilly’ the champion was judged alongside 22,000 other dogs competing in numerous categories in the competition.

A second Kerry Blue dog belonging to the Quiggs, ‘Bella,’ also enjoyed success at the show taking second in her class.

“People don’t always realise but there’s a huge amount of work getting the dogs ready for the shows,” added Helena.

“We have been getting the dogs ready since before Christmas looking after their diet and making sure they have plenty of exercise.

“It’s Harold who gives up so much of his time for the dogs and it’s not easy because the weather that we have here is far from ideal.”

Crufts 2016 was held earlier this month over several days at the NEC in Birmingham.

Almost 22,000 pedigree dogs from around the world competed for just seven places in the Crufts 2016 Best in Show final.

The judges in the competition come from countries all over the world.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “This has been a fantastic year and a wonderful final, and it’s clear to see why, for 125 years, Crufts has been one of the major British events.

“This year has been such a great show, with dogs and their handlers showing their fantastic relationship across a range of dog sports and competitions.”