Hallfield’s Sophia and Stan impress at Crufts

Year 4 pupil, Sophia, and her faithful hound, Stan, enjoyed an eventful time at the world-renowned dog show

Hallfield School pupil Sophia Ishaque took 22 month old dog, Stan, to Crufts, where he came an impressive third in the Yearling class of the Bernese Mountain Dog category. 

Sophia, who is in Year 4 at the Edgbaston school, spent the day helping dog breeder, June Miles, look after Stan and five other dogs for the competition. 

Sophia was in charge of making sure all of the dogs had enough water and taking them for regular toilet breaks and walks to stretch their legs. 

Stan wasn’t the only dog impressing the judges, however – his sister, Delilah, mother Kiss and friend Shirley all won highly commended certificates. 

Saturday’s Crufts event saw Sophia go to work again, this time without Stan. 

The animal loving eight year old was in charge of looking after a seven month old puppy called Jimmy, 22 month old Delilah and six year old Milo. She even took the opportunity to go into the activity ring with Jimmy and demonstrate how to show a dog, in which she came fourth place. 

Joanne Ishaque, Sophia’s mother, said: “I’m very proud of Sophia and Stan for their hard work at Crufts. Sophia’s done incredibly well considering we’ve only had Stan a short while. 

“We had a few long days but it was all worth it. Sophia enjoyed herself very much.” 

Since Sophia adopted Stan in August she has shown him on three occasions, winning Best Junior Handler at the Bernese Mountain Dog Society Championship show, with Stan coming first place in his class. 

Richard Batchelor, headmaster at Hallfield School, said: “It is very commendable that Sophia spends her spare time looking after and nurturing Stan and other dogs. 

“In a day and age where many children spend a lot of their time indoors, it is refreshing to hear of children like Sophia.” 

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