The Team GB squad members had their Crufts performance considered as part of their squad preparation period this year. The squad period runs from 01 Jan through to 01 May, as it will next year too.
I have been taking into consideration that for some partnerships Crufts falls right in the middle of their rest period. However, in order for me to select teams in plenty of time I cannot afford to delay it. I think as the squad qualification, squad preparation and team selection process becomes established, handlers will adjust their 'close season' accordingly.
It has been interesting to watch the dog & handler partnership develop over this period following the two squad days and then Crufts. There are a couple of partnerships that I've noticed huge improvements in, which showed at Crufts.
A question I've been asking myself is "would these performances win podium place at the EO or FCI?".
The FCI World Championships is on carpet / astroturf, it's inside, it will have over four thousand people watching, tricky courses and the worlds top handlers competing. Much like Crufts although the stakes are higher. Of course we did have the some of the worlds top handlers at Crufts and after watching back many of the runs I firmly believe this. However we still have some work to do as I'm sure many of the squad will be aware of.
The squad are together one more time at the Performance Weekend at the end of April. Then it's decision time.
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