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Gallery: Four proud dog lovers from Mendlesham qualify for Crufts with their four-legged friends

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 January 2014

Mendlesham dog owners qualify for Crufts. Debbie Gaskin with Dachshunds L-R: Lenny, Rodney and Skipper.

Mendlesham dog owners qualify for Crufts. Debbie Gaskin with Dachshunds L-R: Lenny, Rodney and Skipper.

Archant

They insist there will be no rivalry when their pampered pups prance for prizes at Crufts.

Mendlesham dog owners qualify for Crufts. L-R: Kay Crisp, Debbie Gaskin, Aaron Marshall, Sharon Marshall and Isabel Eastall. Mendlesham dog owners qualify for Crufts. L-R: Kay Crisp, Debbie Gaskin, Aaron Marshall, Sharon Marshall and Isabel Eastall.

But it is difficult to imagine that bragging rights in the village park will not be coveted when four proud owners from Mendlesham enter a combined eight dogs at the prestigious show in early March.

“It is a great achievement for such a small village,” said experienced handler Debbie Gaskin.

She is just as familiar with the cavernous National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, where Crufts has been held since 1991, as she is with the nutritional 
and dietary needs of her 
three standard smooth dachshunds; three-month-old Rodney, Lenny, three, and Skipper, two.

The latter is a Malaysian national champion, recruited by the housewife as she bids to top the podium for the ninth time of asking.

“I give them a couple of miles’ walk every day,” said Mrs Gaskin, who has earned a top-five finish every year.

“An unfit dog will not do well.”

This year will be different though. Along with husband Gary, she will be joined by three other competitors from the village vying for approval from the quizzical judges.

Sharon Marshal, aided by son Aaron, has Afghans Annais and Thierry. Kay Crisp has Cocker Spaniels Mini and Dexter. Isobel Eastell has Airedale Terrier Susan.

But Mrs Gaskin said they will 
be driven only by individual honours.

“There is no rivalry,” she said. “We all want each other to do really well. We are all friends and although we don’t train together we will be supporting each other.

“Let’s hope we come back to Mendlesham with plenty of ribbons to show off.”

The body of a man found near Leavenheath this afternoon is believed to be that of missing Richard Hull, police have confirmed.

A super slimmer from Colchester told she was a ticking time bomb at 32 stone is enjoying a new lease of life – after shedding half her body weight.

A brave Kesgrave teenager who lost a leg to cancer hit headlines for passing her driving test a year early but she may now face losing that independence – and her beloved car.

A short stroll from the Cornhill can be packed with history, change and stories.

The man who spearheaded efforts to build a northern by-pass across Ipswich 25 years ago has backed new plans to build the road that are now emerging.

A man arrested in connection with an incident that saw armed police descend on Ipswich town centre last night will face no further action.

Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for a post he put on social media following a private visit to Ipswich Hospital.

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