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Meet the pawsitively perfect pups on their way from East Anglia to Crufts

PUBLISHED: 16:29 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 04 September 2019

Grandfather Saltdean Jimmy Ticket, left, poses with his son next to trophies. Photo: Matthew Nixon

Grandfather Saltdean Jimmy Ticket, left, poses with his son next to trophies. Photo: Matthew Nixon

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Four super showdogs from Lowestoft are trotting on their way to the world's greatest dog show, Crufts, after winning at recent top club contests.

Left to Right: Sarah Pridmore, Christy Wells, and Sally Head with their gorgeous American Cocker Spaniels. Photo: Matthew NixonLeft to Right: Sarah Pridmore, Christy Wells, and Sally Head with their gorgeous American Cocker Spaniels. Photo: Matthew Nixon

Sally Head, 57, is the owner of Heads N Tails pet grooming salon in Lowestoft and is an internationally acclaimed showdog breeder with forty years experience. With her two closest friends and showdog apprentices Kristy Wells and Sarah Pridmore, Mrs Head is sending off four gorgeous American Cocker Spaniels to next year's Crufts championship.

It all started with Mrs Head's priceless and prized pooch, Saltdean Jimmy Ticket, a 13-year-old spaniel who she says "still looks young enough to compete."

Jimmy Ticket is a perfect specimen. He is a top show champion meaning he is the highest status for his breed, having earned lifetime entry to Crufts alongside having his seed sought after in the United States and further afield.

His two children, Combley Wood Abra Kedabra and Combley Wood Al Be Back, will now also be joinging him at their Cruft's debut after both winning at last weekend's American Cocker Spaniel Club of Great Britain Reserve CC. The show is the top national championship for the breed.

Sall Head, owner of pet grooming store Heads N Tails, has over forty years of experience breeding showdogs. Photo: Matthew NixonSall Head, owner of pet grooming store Heads N Tails, has over forty years of experience breeding showdogs. Photo: Matthew Nixon

The next Crufts championship takes place in March 2020, but before then, the dogs have another national championship in October, which coincides with the twentieth anniversary of Heads N Tails' opening.

Mrs Head said: "It's an incredible result and quite a big thing for Lowestoft. It's rare when you get a whole family of dogs winning together.

"I've been breeding dogs for forty years. We usually win at Crufts, although to be quite honest it's something completely different. To us the club championship shows are more important."

Jimmy Ticket's grandchildren, who are both thirteen months old, are also on their way to the national dog competition.

The youngest dogs in the family of prize winning pooches are only 13 months old. Photo: Matthew NixonThe youngest dogs in the family of prize winning pooches are only 13 months old. Photo: Matthew Nixon

Mrs Wells, owner of Saltdean Blinkin Linken, said: "He's still very much a baby. I get nervous for the upcoming show - often I'll hand him to Sally and get her to handle him because there's a lot involved. It's nerve wracking being on show and showing your dog, but Sally often helps me with it."

"I was more nervous about the club show than I was about going to Crufts. People come all over the world for it."

Miss Pridmore, who has been training with Mrs Head for several years, said: "Crufts is a multibreed show with thousands of different dogs, but at a club show you're only up against other cocker spaniels, so it's definitely harder to stand out."

Gail Pridmore said: "Sally is an international groomer meaning she has won grooming shows around the world to get where she is, and she's an international judge who has been to places like Russia.

Saltdean Jimmy Ticket, left, poses with his son next to trophies. Photo: Matthew NixonSaltdean Jimmy Ticket, left, poses with his son next to trophies. Photo: Matthew Nixon

"She's a lady who came from nowhere, an ordinary Lowestoft person with a love of dogs, who started breeding show dogs forty years ago. It goes to show those who think they can't doo anything, that if they put the work in they can."

Saltdean Jimmy Ticket is Mrs Head's most-prized pooch. Photo: Matthew NixonSaltdean Jimmy Ticket is Mrs Head's most-prized pooch. Photo: Matthew Nixon

Proud Grandfather Saltdean Jimmy Ticket poses with his grandchildren, Saltdean La Chilla and Saltdean Blinkin Linken. Photo: Matthew NixonProud Grandfather Saltdean Jimmy Ticket poses with his grandchildren, Saltdean La Chilla and Saltdean Blinkin Linken. Photo: Matthew Nixon

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