Fourteen-year-old Harvey Sargent recently qualified for Crufts with Lenny the cockerpoo at Chippenham Show, Bath, on the weekend of October 1 and 2, marking the beginning of a new journey into the dog show world.
Around a month ago, the duo achieved grade 7 in agility, the highest grade there is for this section, and Harvey has been working for 18 months to get the last grade needed.
To qualify, Harvey and Lenny had to achieve a 1st or a 2nd in Dog of the Year and Agility at the Chippenham Show. For five years, Harvey has been working hard to reach this point, but often was just on the edge of qualifying, achieving 3rd place, or getting 2nd but being in a category where there were too many already qualified.
However, this year was Harvey’s time to shine, showing that patience and hard work really does pay off when he achieved a 2nd at the Chippenham Show in agility, finally qualifying for the UK’s most commendable dog show and reaching his goal.
Harvey’s mother, Kirsty, told the Post: “He’s waited a very long time for this. This is a first time thing for the family, although my mother-in-law has always been into dogs; she did dog grooming and other things like that for quite a while, and she’s always supported Harvey by taking him to shows.
“Harvey has always wanted to go into being an army or police dog handler, so I think within the next year or so he might start looking at going into the army, which is brilliant, but quite worrying too.”
Harvey has been involved in dog shows since the age of ten, and now he’s reached his personal goal of qualifying for Crufts, he will continue to train with Lenny until the highly anticipated dog event of the year begins in March 2017, when they will have their time in front of the judges.
Following the recent shows at Wadebridge and the Grange, near Okehampton, these concluded the shows for the season, allowing Harvey to concentrate solely on his and Lenny’s performance for Crufts.
Kirsty continued: “It’s all mainly down to training and shows now. It definitely keeps us all busy.
“The lady that Harvey has been training with — Kim, from Marhamchurch — has a daughter who has been to Crufts before, so that’s showed Harvey what he needs to do. Kim has had a lot of patience with him, and has been a brilliant teacher.”
Kirsty, with pride, added: “It really is a proper family thing; it takes up most of our weekends, but it is exciting.”