Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Crufts winner inspires 140-mile walk in aid of three charities

MORE than £32,000 has been raised by a 140-mile walk organised by the owner of the dog which won best

MORE than £32,000 has been raised by a 140-mile walk organised by the owner of the dog which won best in show at this year’s Crufts.

Gavin Robertson, who runs Avalon kennels and cattery in Old Icknield Way, Benson, with his wife, Sara, decided to use petit basset griffon vendeen Jilly’s high profile to fund-raise for three charities.

TV presenter Clare Balding and her Tibetan terrier Archie were among those who joined him for part of the five-day walk along the Grand Union Canal. Mr Robertson said: “I thought that I should use the publicity Jilly had attracted from winning Crufts to do something positive. I started inviting people I knew from dog shows and it grew from there.

“We are really pleased as £25,000 was our target and I know we have quite a bit still to come in.”

The walk began at the Birmingham NEC, where Jilly won her title in March, and ended at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, one of the three beneficiaries. The others are DogLost and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Jilly, a three-year-old, walked about half the total distance. Amelia Siddle, from Devon, and her pointer, Flo, managed the whole way.

Previous Crufts winners and the winners of each of the group categories at this year’s show accompanied Mr Robertson for sections of the walk.

He hopes to organise another fund-raising event next year.

Jilly also won best in breed and best hound at Crufts, having been reserve best in show two years ago.

To make a donation, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jillysjaunt

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