Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey have hit the headlines after their Britain’s Got Talent performances, but we’ve always known the duo were stars.
The double act have been featured several times in the Evening Telegraph over the past few years.
In 2009 we reported on Ashleigh and her friends from the Wellingborough Dog Training Club winning in a number of classes at Crufts.
The then 14-year-old won the Heelwork to Music Freestyle over-12s section, the junior jumping class and the YKC Agility Dog of the Year medium dog over-12s section in the Young Kennel Club competitions.
At the time she told us: “Winning at Crufts is fantastic, a real dream come true. It takes endless hours of training to prepare for it, but it’s really worth it when you get a good result at the biggest dog show in the world. The Heelwork to Music Freestyle competition needs the most training.
“I started teaching Pudsey all the tricks and manoeuvres about a year ago and my mum and I started to choreograph it to the music back in October.
“We dance to Egyptian reggae, which is the Rand Dance, and our dancing goes really well with the music. Pudsey is a dream dog and we have a fantastic bond with each other.
“He always tries his best and wants to please me. He can do lots of tricks, and is trained in obedience to a high standard.
“I am quite proud that he has done so well with me doing all his training, and I know how lucky I am to have such a super dog.”
Ashleigh also won the International Young Handler competition for over-12s at the International Agility Festival at Kelmarsh Hall in 2010.
And in 2011 we reported on how the duo were in the team which scooped a gold trophy for England at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival at Crufts.