FOUR-LEGGED friends from across Hexham are preparing to compete in the world's most famous dog show.

Thousands of pooches and their owners will be heading to the NEC Birmingham for Crufts 2024, which will take place between March 7 and 10.

Including competitors like Anne Barreto from Ponteland, who will be competing in the show for the first time.

Anne, 55, is a self-employed jewellery maker and has competed in local competitions with one of her many dogs but this is the first time in a National competition.

"The dog I normally compete locally with is a 'mummy's boy' and would not leave my side - so I know he wouldn't have the right temperament to compete," she said.

"That is why I am entering my other dog Hugo who will be better. I have competed with him many times and he is quite good - not outstanding but okay - so it will be fun to see how he does.

"I am really excited to be competing at Crufts as I have always watched the show as an audience member - dreaming of wanting to have a go and now I am."

Christine Fairbairn, from Hexham will be going for her 41st time with three of her dogs, UK champion Sally, Cally and Mario , who her grandson named.

Hexham Courant: Christine Fairbairn with CallyChristine Fairbairn with Cally (Image: Christine Fairbairn)

"I have some reasonably successful times at Crufts, so it is always exciting and a big honour to go and compete against others from all over the country and world.

Hexham Courant: UK champion SallyUK champion Sally (Image: Christine Fairbairn)

"It often goes down with my sister and it is a fun but very tiring weekend. Aside from competing we also like to catch up with old friends and go shopping.

Sue McCabe,49, from Ponteland is also looking forward to competing and showing her Jack Russel Terrier JellyBean off once again.

Sue, who runs behavioural advice and training for dogs, says it is the best time of the year for dog enthusiasts.

Hexham Courant: Sue McCabe with JellybeanSue McCabe with Jellybean (Image: Sue McCabe)

"I have competed every year since 2017 and I always look forward to it," she says.

"Even Jelly Bean loves it as there are plenty of stalls with treats and toys - it is like Disneyland for dogs."

Also, a seasoned competitor, Rachel Anderson from Heddon-on-the-Wall is looking forward to the big event with her smooth Fox Terrier.