It’s almost time for Crufts, so Hayley Telling and her Shetland sheepdog Teal are training up to tackle this year’s agility events! Since The Insurance Emporium began sponsoring Teal, whose competition name is Agility Champion New Illusions Bi Enchantment of the Five Colours, we learned about his and Hayley’s success at Crufts 2017 and have been following their progress in various high-level competitions. We caught up with them to see how they’re preparing for Crufts 2018!

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Crufts capers

Hayley and Teal are set to compete in a handful of agility events at Crufts. They’ll be taking part in the British Open on Thursday March 8th, where they’ll be up against canine athletes from around the world. On Friday March 9th, they’ll be in the singles and team events. They’ll also be in the Championship on Sunday March 11th, which they qualified for after winning three agility tickets during summer 2017 – one would have been enough to compete in the event! Looking ahead to the dog show, Hayley said: “we absolutely loved Crufts last year and can’t wait to be back on the green carpet!”

Catching up

Last time we caught up with Hayley and Teal, they were getting ready to compete in the London Olympia Horse Show, which Hayley called their ‘biggest dream’. The pair not only fulfilled their ambition by qualifying for this event, they went on to win The Kennel Club Medium Dog Jumping Grand Prix while there! They also came fifth in The Kennel Club Medium Dog Agility Finals. After competing at Olympia, they then took the time to kick back with a five week break. Recently, they’ve been building their training plan back up so that they can be in tip-top shape for this year’s Crufts.

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Teal’s training

Hayley talked us through Teal’s training plan, which has largely been focussed on his fitness so far. She told us that Teal does two or three strength-training sessions each week, where they work on his hind end and core. As well as this, he does one treadmill and one sprint training session weekly. That’s on top of his daily walks, which are 15km long! Of course, dog handlers also have to put in a lot of work in competitions, so Hayley has been working on her fitness too. She has been doing HIIT training five days a week and has started adding in weight training too.

Agility antics

As well as working on general fitness, Hayley and Teal have also been practicing agility obstacles. Hayley explained how they started out with jump grids, tunnel drives, weaves and dog walk contact basic skills. Next, they began working on small sequences, followed by the previous courses that this year’s Crufts judges have set. Before March, Hayley plans for her and Teal to have a training session on the carpet surface. In the run up to Crufts 2018, Hayley is also planning to work on her mental skills and visualisation.

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For the win!

It’s not just Crufts that’s on Hayley and Teal’s competition calendar. To get back into the swing of competing, they have been taking part in a number of local shows. The pair also have a couple of bigger events coming up, with their squad days for the European Open and FCI Try-outs coming up at the end of February. Fingers crossed for them that they’re successful in their try-outs and here’s hoping that they put on a stellar performance at Crufts! Good luck Hayley and Teal!

If you have a dog that you’re as close to as Hayley is to Teal, whether you enter competitions together or not, then you probably always want the best for them. For peace of mind that you and your furry friend could ensure plenty of happy years together, it might be worth getting pet insurance. We have several dog insurance policies to choose from, which includes such benefits as Vet’s Fees for up to £8,000*. New customers could also get up to 30% discount, including a 20% Introductory Discount and a 10% Multi-pet Discount. If you’re sniffing out quotes for pet insurance, you could stop by The Insurance Emporium today!

*Available on a Gold Lifetime lunar monthly policy only.

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