A Hampshire dog owner who met her partner through sled dog racing is preparing to show her two Siberian Huskies at Crufts.

Tracy Evans, 46, from Stockbridge, will be showing Mya and Poppy, aged eight and one respectively, at the NEC Birmingham next week.

Despite turning nine shortly after this year’s Crufts competition, Mya has never competed before and Ms Evans did not expect she ever would at this age.

But when she started taking her rescue dog Mishka to ringcraft classes last year, Mya started feeling left out.

Hampshire Chronicle: One of the huskiesOne of the huskies (Image: Beat Media)

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Ms Evans said: “Mya would just sit by the door all night when I took Mishka to classes. She felt left out. So I thought I’d take her along and she’d hate it and never want to come again. But I learnt you should never try to outsmart a Siberian Husky

“I took her for a night at ringcraft thinking it would stop her sulking. But I was wrong - she loved it and has now shocked us all by qualifying. It wasn’t the plan at all.

“I’m really excited about Crufts. I’m just really proud of the girls and also really shocked. To have taken to it now at the age Mya is, is quite unusual. They do say Siberians are slow to mature.

“The huskies have got a lot of character and personality so I hope they can show that on the day.

“My love of huskies came from rescuing my previous dog, Oscar. He looked like a German Shepherd to me - it was only when I went to pick him up from the rescue centre that I realised I was reading the paperwork upside down and found out he was a husky cross.

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“I went home and ordered a husky book. He was a husky in shepherd’s clothing. It was through having him and my relationship with him that made me love the breed."

The dog show competitor even met her partner Chris through sled racing.

Crufts, the world's biggest dog show, recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities for dogs and owners.

Crufts is held from Thursday to Sunday, March 7-10. Viewers can follow the action on Channel 4. For more information and tickets go to crufts.org.uk/.

Report by Ayisha Gulati