The Crufts dog show is celebrating its 125-year-anniversary, and, to make things interesting, celebrities like Pudsey and Ashleigh have been added to the 2016 programming.
However, instead of seeing Pudsey and Ashleigh compete as dog dancers this year (but Crufts is not over yet!), the pair are attending Crufts as celebrities and honored guests. At the event, Pudsey and Ashleigh have been promoting their new touring musical show and awareness about parasites that harm dogs.
Ashleigh and Pudsey were welcome celebrities at Crufts 2016 because they won have won three categories at the event (Heelwork to Music Freestyle, Junior Jumping, and YKC Agility Dog of the Year) for several years in a row starting in 2009 — and they won Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.
Dog Guide also points out that Ashleigh may have inherited her talent for training Pudsey from “her mother, a trainer at the Wellingborough Dog Training Club.”
Also called dog agility, heelwork to music and musical canine freestyle, Ashleigh and Pudsey may be especially welcome at Crufts as featured guests because dog dancing was allegedly first introduced there in 1990 by an obedience handler by the name of Mary Ray.
Since 2012, Ashleigh and Pudsey have been famous outside of Crufts and Simon Cowell’s show because Pudsey had his own movie released in 2014 called Pudsey: The Movie.
Sadly, there are some that think that Crufts is outdated, encourages inbreeding, caters to the uber-rich, and that the only real talent at Crufts are dog dancing acts like ones performed by Pudsey and Ashleigh. The Guardian explains their opinion against Crufts on March 10 with the following.
“What’s the most exciting part of Crufts? When the dogs dance, of course. Let’s [maximize] on this by creating Strictly Come Barking – a knockout competition in which the dogs are dressed in sparkly frocks and high heels and made to perform elaborate choreography to Rihanna songs with Holby City actors.”
During the first three days of Crufts 2016, Pudsey and Ashleigh were on hand to talk about the dangers of dog parasites. According to the Daily Mail, they were specifically there to promote “the Drontal and Advantage Inseparables campaign to help keep pets parasite free.”
For fans that did not get a chance to see Pudsey and Ashleigh at Crufts, more opportunities are coming soon. According to IB Times, after Crufts, Ashleigh and Pudsey are going on the road in the U.K. starting March 24 with a new musical act called “Mission ImPUDSEYble” that will conclude on June 4.
While Pudsey and Ashleigh have enjoyed years of success, other dog dancing acts are making their mark at Crufts. For example, according to the Mirror, “The unlikely spectacle of a Crufts audience head-banging to AC/DC … In a showstopper that could threaten [to] take Ashleigh and Pudsey’s crown, Layla showed impressive heelwork as she rocked out with her leather-jacketed owner.”
Regardless, it is not over for Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey once Crufts and the musical conclude because the dancing dog’s owner wants to be a judge on Britain’s Got Talent in 2016. About her interest in being a judge, TV3 quoted Ashleigh Butler stating the following.
”It would be amazing to go back and be a guest judge or something like that on Britain’s Got Talent, because I have been on that stage and I know how they’re feeling.”
Oddly, Simon Cowell was reported recently as being suspicious of dogs for Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 — but this has nothing to do with Ashleigh and Pudsey. Instead, since Pudsey and his owner appeared on the show, there has been a flub that has left Simon Cowell unsettled, according to the Telegraph.
Apparently, during a 2015 episode, Jules O’Dwyer “used two dogs for her final performance when viewers only thought she had one, Matisse.” Like Pudsey and Ashleigh, O’Dwyer and their dogs were winners, but Simon Cowell may be extremely cautious about other dog dancing acts from now on.
[Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images]