Dancing duo set sights on Crufts
A pair of performing terriers that wowed TV audiences in Simon Cowell's Christmas special are back in training for their most prestigious gig yet – in the hallowed main ring at Crufts.
Devon trainer Rachael Grylls and her dancing pets Jacob and Jessica impressed a crowd of 26,000 people at the Discover Dogs show at Earls Court in London last year with her circus-themed routine.
Following an appearance in front of millions of viewers during Boxing Day talent show That Dog Can Dance, the pair are now perfecting their ten-minute musical routine – in which they jump through hoops, roll barrels, skip, play the piano and ride on horseback.
Rachael, 33, says the performance at Birmingham's' NEC in March will be their toughest yet and she hopes the two young dogs will be able to handle the occasion.
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"People say Jack Russells are the hardest to train because they can lose concentration at the click of a finger she added.
"I live on a farm and we don't get out much to see other dogs so Crufts is going to be very distracting.
"It has always been my dream to go there but this will be scary and nerve-racking."
Mrs Grylls, a distant family relative by marriage to TV adventurer Bear Grylls, says she only started training her pets a year-and-a-half ago.
Until then, she specialised in training horses on her stud farm between Okehampton and Launceston, where she lives with husband Sean, 35, and daughter Angelina, ten.
Since then she has toured the county show circuit, including Devon, and is finding the act in great demand.
She said: "It just started off as play. One day Jessica jumped up on one of the horses' backs, so I started teaching them other tricks.
"All the people I have been competing against have had six or seven years' professional experience, but I am a novice.
The Crufts show runs from March 7-10. Visit www.crufts.org.uk.