A teenage Animal Care student at Writtle College has demonstrated her dog handling skills at Crufts in a national competition.
Rae Bibb, 17, got through a gruelling qualifying process to the national final of the Young Kennel Club Handlers competition at Crufts 2014.
The Level 2 Animal Studies student went to the NEC in Birmingham with her Boxer Newt for the national competition and achieved fourth place in the 17- to 24-year-olds’ Working and Pastoral Handling Class.
Rae, from Barkingside, said: “I was the youngest out of 12 in my class. Newt, my Boxer, did fantastically well in the competition – I’m really proud of what he did on the day as his behaviour was on fire with all the cameras, people and cheering echoing around the hall. It was pretty daunting showing at the NEC with all those people watching, but great fun and a fantastic experience!
“I was really pleased to come fourth in this national competition. It’s a really hard process even to get through to the final - I qualified for the competition at the Welsh Kennel Club 2013 where there were 20 young people in my class and only first place can qualify. It was great to go on to compete at this level at Crufts.”
Rae, who owns three Boxers - Tess, Newt and Maisey - became involved in the world of dog showing when she was 11-years-old and started competing at 12.
As well as showing Newt, Rae does dog agility with Masiey, who is deaf. She belongs to the Young Kennel Club, Essex and Eastern Counties Boxer Club, the British Boxer Club and is on the committee of Romford and District Canine Society, as well as judging Boxers and junior handling.
She wants to progress to study dog grooming at Writtle College’s commercial dog grooming parlour once she has finished her Animal Care course and hopes to eventually set up her own dog grooming business.
She said: “As well as handling and owning Boxers, I have handled over 20 different breeds from pugs to Dobermans. All dogs I own and handle, I care for and love. I have so much passion for dogs; making sure I get the best out of every dog and making sure they are all fit and healthy. Dogs have also given me confidence after being ill for some time; they have made me get back up on my feet again. Dogs never disappoint you!”