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Local Leonberger makes it to the final of Crufts

A Glossop dog has become the first Leonberger in the history of Crufts to finish in the top 10, after coming in seventh position in the Open Class category at the international dog show. 

Bred by Lucie Perron in Canada, Neville made his way to Glossop three years ago as a puppy. Last weekend, Neville made history at Crufts 2024, not only for his breed but also for his owners, Kerry Rushby and Lee Studholme, who have been immersed in the world of dog shows for decades.

Neville's owners have been entering canine competitions since 1999, and they have had numerous successes over the years. Their first win at Crufts came in 2003, when their entry was awarded Best Female in Breed. The following year brought more success as they won Best of Breed. 

In 2016, Kerry and Lee transitioned to the role of breeder, and they once again took home the Best of Breed award.

This year, Neville competed in the Open Class, alongside champions from the UK and across Europe. His performance was a testament to his breeding and the expert handling of Kerry and Lee.

Kerry said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of breed history at Crufts 2024, because it was the very first time in UK history that a Leonberger was in the final seven of the competition at Crufts, from an overall entry of 20,000 dogs from all over the world.”

She added: "I have dedicated the win at Crufts to my late mother, Joan Rushby, whom dedicated her life to dogs and of whom I would not have succeeded today, if it was not for her. She would have been thrilled to have been there to see it be achieved.

"She was well known in the Glossop area as a dog trainer for Derbyshire County Council for more than 25 years, so many dog owners in the area will be aware of Joan and her involvement with Leonbergers and dogs in general."

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