BRITAIN’S Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler has revealed the private heartache behind her Crufts win with dog Sully as her mum battles cancer.
The 24-year-old and her canine companion were crowned Small Crufts singles winner over the weekend.
They also managed to retain their title in the agility category at the event in Birmingham, but appearing on today’s Lorraine, Ashleigh revealed the personal heartache behind her latest triumph.
After Lorraine mentioned her mum Penny was “living with cancer”, Ashleigh said: “A couple of weeks ago she was so unwell we weren’t even sure if she was going to make it and then she did.
“Sully actually won the competition on Friday and mum wasn’t there, so to go back on Sunday and win the championships as well meant a lot to all of us.”
Ashleigh rose to fame after winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 with her late dog Pudsey.
Sadly the pooch passed away two years ago and Ashleigh has been working and performing with her other dog Sully ever since.
However, the move sparked backlash from some fans of the BGT pair, and Ashleigh admitted today it had been a tough time.
She said: “Sully has been with me since he was a young puppy, he grew up with Pudsey, they adored each other.
“People had this idea that I just went out and got this other one, as if he was trained like that, easy.
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“That was not the case. I’d already had Sully for four years and he’d been doing his training.
“He was already amazing in his own right, so it was a natural step for us to bring Sully up into the spotlight and become my main performing dog.”
Referring to the backlash two years ago after she lost Pudsey, she added: “It was so difficult as I then had to speak out.
“It was like losing a family member.”
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