Video: Mhari and Bluey land coveted title

SCHOOLGIRL Mhari Grant and her pet pooch are set to take the dog competition world by storm after being crowned rising stars.

Naomi Gornall

SCHOOLGIRL Mhari Grant and her pet pooch are set to take the dog competition world by storm after being crowned rising stars.

Mhari, 16, from Kesgrave, has only been training four-year-old Bluey, an Australian Kelpie (similar to a sheepdog) for the last couple of years but after impressing judges at the prestigious event, Discover Dogs, they were awarded with the Starters Cup.

The Starters Cup is a showcase for some of the most talented newcomers in agility, and both Bluey and Mhari fought off stiff competition from hundreds of others to land the coveted title. Now, the plan is to qualify for next year's Crufts and continue their winning streak.

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Mhari, who was the only under-18 dog handler at the event, said: “I had never seen the course before and had to figure out which route to take. It was so nerve-wracking as everyone was watching us.

“No way did I expect to get this far. I wanted to cry when I found out we won.”

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The Copleston High School student got Bluey - whose competition name is 'Flamin Bluemeringue' - when she was a puppy and the pair have been inseparable ever since.

They attend the Suffolk Five Rivers Agility Club, based in Levington, at least twice a week to train, and Mhari even helps train other people's dogs.

Although they qualified for Crufts earlier this year, Bluey got an injury and they were eliminated from the competition. The injury meant they hardly did any training over the summer yet miraculously managed to fly through the qualifying round for the Discover Dogs event, and went on to win the cup.

The agility test, which includes weaving in and out of poles, jumping, and going through tunnels, usually takes 25 seconds to complete, but Bluey's fastest time is just over 17 seconds.

Mhari, a year 11 student, who is thinking of becoming a primary school teacher, said: “It did take a long time to get everything right.

“She has got to be under control and it is hard to do this when she is going so fast.

“I trained her when she was a puppy. She was very naughty but she is quite calm now. She is very cuddly and loves food and toys.

“I will never give up dog agility. It is a great hobby to have.”

The Suffolk Five Rivers Agility Club is always looking for new members. If you want to give it a go, visit for more information.

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