Teenage trainer and her pet win first prize at Crufts show

Ella Armstrong of Mowson Lane,Worrall,with 'Wilf' her dog that won at Crufts
Ella Armstrong of Mowson Lane,Worrall,with 'Wilf' her dog that won at Crufts
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Sheffield teenager Ella Armstrong is “over the moon” - after winning a coveted first place rosette at top dog show Crufts with her favourite four-legged friend.

Ella, aged 17, from Worrall, was awarded first prize with her whippet Wilf in the Young Kennel Club 17 to 24 Years Junior Handling category.

Last year Ella won the same category for 12 to 16-year-olds, making it a further success for the budding young dog handler.

Ella’s mum Kate, 45, said her daughter “really loves” training dogs, and that the judges’ attention was largely focused on her as well as on five-year-old Wilf - whose show name is Bec Scott Golden Wonder.

“The focus is on Ella and not the dog - it’s all about Ella’s technique, how she is with handling the dog and her rapport with him,” Kate said.

“It’s all about pattern work - you have to try to get him in very straight lines and walk the dog in a triangle.”

She said Ella was nervous before the big day in Birmingham, after winning her category last year.

“I think she thought the pressure was on her to win again, but she won - so obviously she did everything right on the day,”

Wilf also helped calm Ella’s nerves by being “completely laid back”, said Kate, who works as a communicator with deaf people.

“The place is big, it’s loud, but Wilf just took it all in his stride.

“He’s very focused on Ella, he’s definitely her dog. When she’s not in he waits for her to come home.

“She trains him most days, doing some agility or obedience. She takes it quite seriously.”

Ella is in the sixth form at Silverdale School, and is working towards being an animal physiotherapist. Dad Ian, 52, is a guide dog trainer.

Wilf isn’t the only animal in the household - the Armstrongs also own two dachshunds called Charlie and Fritz, a pony named Gemini, guinea pigs Dolly and Pob, and a rabbit called Pink.