Third year of top Crufts accolade for our Tilly and Hero

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Tue 12th March 2024

A teenager and her pooch from Derbyshire have come out tops at Crufts for a third year in a row.
Tilly Crookes, aged 17 from Somercotes, has been attending Crufts for six years, three of which were with her Dalmatian pooch pal Hero.
She said of this year’s attendance with Hero: “At Crufts 2024, Hero was entered in Post Graduate dog that had 24 entries.
“Hero was first up and on the inspection, he was well behaved and stood all four square while the judge thoroughly examined him.
“He moved like a dream in the big ring that allowed him to move to his full potential which allowed the judge to see his both his front and rear angulation as well as how he kept his top-line straight in profile.
“We got shortlisted down to the final few and were asked to move again. After looking at all the shortlisted dogs, the judge placed us First in the biggest dog class of the day.”

Not only did Tilly and Hero have a fabulous day for winning at Crufts, but the pair also saw themselves get lots of media attention.
Tilly explained: “Later on Hero and I appeared on Channel 4 with Sophie (interviewer) and Bill (who works for the kennel club) to talk about the strange names we give them.
“Hero’s Kennel Club name is Dalberry the Starburst, his whole litter were named after sweets due to their mum being called Dolly and they were her Mixtures.
“I also had a part in the International Women’s Day video by Crufts as well as a piece for ITV, BBC East Midlands today and BBC Radio Derby.”
Tilly explained more to the Spirit of Alfreton about the pooches in her life: “We have Hero (Dalberry the Starburst) and his Mum Dolly (Dalmark the Ratafia) who we bred to get him.
“Dalberry is my kennel name so any dog a I breed will be Dalberry.
“Hero has been to Crufts the last three years (including this year) and won his category each time.
“I’ve been for six years and beside the three first with Hero I have had a VHC and third with Dolly and yesterday (Sunday, March 10) I won the Bitch RCC (second best bitch overall in breed) with an Ibizan hound called Riva.”

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