FITNESS teacher Sue Smith could hardly believe it when her handsome pet Samoyed - called Dan the Man - won a coveted junior champion prize at Crufts last week.

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Sue said: “I didn’t expect to win at all, it was an utter surprise; I felt emotional, elated and disbelief; it was a moment I will treasure for ever.”

After owning and showing Samoyeds for 30 years, Sue says Dan the Man is in a class of his own. “He is the special one that possibly only comes along once in a lifetime,” she said.

Two-year-old Dan the Man, whose Kennel Club name is Champion Nikara Diamond Dancer, won the Crufts Kennel Gazette Junior Warrant - an accolade that is the equivalent of being a junior champion. The class is open to all dogs around the county, collecting points up to the age of 18 months.

Sue, who lives in Upwell and teaches aerobics and Zumba, said: “As soon as Dan came home, I knew he was a proper mummy’s boy, he sticks to me like glue. He is gentle and quiet, and he can open all the doors in the house.”

Dan the Man’s success at Crufts was the latest in a long line of prize winning; last year at Crufts he was best puppy in breed, and for two years running he was Samoyed pup of the year in a competition organised by the Northern Samoyed Society. Last June Sue took him to Paris, and he was declared World Show Junior Champion.

But despite his show successes, Sue says: “Dan is first and foremost a pet at home, lounging on the settee, and his favourite pastime is running in harness at Thetford Forest.

“He is my lead dog in my three dog Samoyed team, and on Sunday night he was pulling me on my three wheeled rig through a misty forest. What a way to finish off a super two years with Dan the Man.”

BREEDERS Rachel Reddin and her mother Ruth Bussell from Sutton St James also had great success at Crufts with a couple of their Portuguese Water Dogs. Their four year told dog Rarjo Scouting for Girls - known as Fin - was declared best dog and best in breed, and was made up to a champion. Their five year old bitch Rarjo She’s the One - known as Jodie - was already a champion and at Crufts was declared best bitch in her class.

Rachel said afterward: “We were very pleased indeed, this was the best we had every done at Crufts.”

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