Rocco hoping to scoop top prize at Crufts - The Rugby Observer

Rocco hoping to scoop top prize at Crufts

Sophie Heaviside 9th Mar, 2017 Updated: 9th Mar, 2017   0

A LABRADOR from Rugby has his paws crossed to be named top dog at Crufts.

Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog Rocco has been shortlisted as one of six finalists in a national competition to find the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year 2017.

Pets As Therapy is an independently funded charity with thousands of volunteers, whose dogs provide therapy and bring comfort, smiles and friendship to the people they meet.

Rocco visits a care home for disabled adults fortnightly, and every week he goes to a primary school as part of a Read2Dogs scheme where the children read out loud to him to improve their confidence and literacy skills.

His busy schedule also includes visiting wards at St Cross Hospital – and he even attended Warwick University to help the students cope with pre-exam stress.

Owner Hilary Farndon said: “Everybody who knows Rocco says what a wonderful laid back dog he is.

“He is often called ‘a gentleman’ by the fellow dog walkers we know. Everyone is immensely proud of his achievements.”

Rocco will get the chance to soak up the atmosphere at Crufts tomorrow (Friday, March 10) before finding out if he has won £500 and a three-month supply of HiLife goodies.

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RUGBY Dog Training Club will once again be well represented at this year’s Crufts.

Ten members of the club will compete in the competition; three in the Obedience Championships, two in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Display Team, and one in the Midlands Rally Obedience team – the first time this discipline has been scheduled.

Diamonds in the crufts – left to right: Rugby Dog Training Club members Jane Simms with Campbell, Ann Jordon with Dash, Mary Ray with Lyric and Levi, JuliaSkipp with Fudge, Val Moss with Blue, Nicky Morrell with Kenzie and Erica Hyde with Dante and Nova. 09.017.006.rug.jm1

Other members are showing in Breed classes and competing in Agility classes.

On Sunday night in the main ring, shortly before the Best in Show is judged, Mary Ray will perform a Heelwork to Music routine with her dogs.

Rugby Dog Training Club president Daphne Townsend said: “It is a great achievement to have qualified at Crufts, so we say well done and wish everyone good luck.”

Crufts takes place at the Birmingham NEC from Thursday March 9 to Sunday March 12, with TV coverage on Channel 4 and More4.


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