Sudbury teacher Sam Savory is very proud of her daughter, who has proved that she has a special affinity with dogs.
Three-year-old Ava and the family’s nine-month-old puppy Manya impressed dog show judges at a county fair last month.
The youngster won first prize as the best junior handler, and then went on – with her puppy – to be awarded the best in show against 20 other dogs, all winners of their respective show classes.
As a result, Ava will now compete to win the title of supreme champion at a dog show final being held later this month, which includes all the best in show winners from around the UK – around 15 dogs and their owners.
To win it would be quite a coup for a three-year-old, says mum Sam, a teacher at St Joseph’s Primary School in Beaconsfield Road.
Ava triumphed at the Cheshire Country Fair held recently. “My family live in Cheshire, so that’s how come we entered the dog show there,” said Sam.
“Ava did so well. The judges thought she was amazing, and they commented on how well she did for her age. They said they had never seen someone so intent on handling their dog and training them.
“Manya is Ava’s favourite and she goes out for a walk with her every day and spends time in the garden training her to stand. I do think she has a particular bond with her and is good at training dogs.”
Ava has some experience of working with dogs as the family have three and they are all a particular breed of retrievers, called a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.
Sam and her husband Ben spend time travelling around the country to show their dogs and, next year, all three dogs will be appearing at national dog show Crufts, having qualified at dog shows this year.
“I suppose Ava has picked up some of our training skills and moves, having seen us at shows with the dogs,” said Sam. “I’ve been interested in dog showing, and this particular breed, for years.”
Sam says Ava is very excited about taking part in the supreme champion finals, which take place at Bowood House in Wiltshire on September 28.
She will travel to the competition final with all her family – including her 16-month-old sister Myla – in the hope of coming back supreme champion.