Crufts show success for Uttlesford girl Luna, 7, and her dog D'Hari

Luna Collins, 7, from Leaden Roding, Essex in tartan with her Afghan Hound D'Hari at Crufts 2022. Image by Flick.digital

Luna Collins, 7, from Leaden Roding with her Afghan Hound D'Hari at Crufts 2022 at the NEC in Birmingham. - Credit: Sandy Young/ Flick.digital

An Uttlesford dog-lover and her pet have made their their first appearance at Crufts and won a second place award.

Luna Collins, seven, and her Afghan Hound D'Hari, from Leaden Roding achieved a blue rosette in the Good Citizen category.

A Crufts show judge looks at Afghan Hound D'Hari watched by Luna Collins from Essex. Image by Sandy Young/ Flick.digital

A Crufts show judge looks over Afghan Hound D'Hari as Luna Collins, 7, from Leaden Roding, Uttlesford, looks on - Credit: Sandy Young/ Flick.digital

Luna Collins age seven with her Afghan Hound D'Hari at Crufts. Image by Sandy Young/ Flick.digital

Uttlesford's Luna Collins with her Afghan Hound D'Hari at Crufts 2022 at the NEC in Birmingham - Credit: Sandy Young/ Flick.digital

Luna was dressed head to toe in tartan to reflect her Ayrshire roots.

Mum Amanda said the outfit was only finished the day before and when it was driven to them for the NEC Birmingham show, Luna hadn't even tried it on. The jacket has a secret inside pocket for poo bags.

Amanda said she had tried for 14 years to get an Afghan Hound to Crufts but Luna had managed to get through at her first attempt and won an award too.

The pandemic has meant their normal routine of shows every weekend was put on hold and D'Hari has been at very few shows, possibly only 10 in total.

Flower grower Amanda, a former army dog trainer, said her daughter seems to have caught the bug for showing.

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"She came out of the ring and said 'I could have done better'. She is very animal savvy."

Amanda added: “Luna has done a marvellous job. And so did D’Hari.

“We will be celebrating her win, not just for doing brilliantly but also for D’Hari getting us through such a tough time in our lives.”

D'Hari - named after Debbie Harry - came into their lives while Amanda was going backwards and forwards to hospital for partner Jamie's cancer treatment in November 2016 when Luna was age two. D'Hari was a great help to them after Jamie died. 

Amanda and Luna moved to Uttlesford in 2020 for a fresh start.

Amanda said they will try to qualify for the next Crufts.

Luna practices her handling skills with five-year-old D’Hari when they go out for walks. She also does ringcraft and practices at local open and champ shows.

It is her job to feed D’Hari and their other dogs, as well as letting them out in the garden first thing.

Luna is also in charge of picking all the leaves and twigs out of D’Hari’s fur when they’ve been out in the woods.

This year was the 131st year of Crufts, the largest dog show of its kind in the world, organised by The Kennel Club.