Conker fan celebrates championship win

Conker King and Queen John Riley and Julie Freeman
Conker King and Queen John Riley and Julie Freeman

A dog groomer has scooped a world title with her conker smashing skills.

Julie Freeman, 45, was crowned the Conker Queen at the World Conker Champiohnships at the weekend.

She battled through five rounds to reach the final of the event at Southwick, in Northamptonshire.

Julie, who runs K9 Cuts, won a trophy and a tankard for her skills with a conker.

She said: “I have been going to the competition for years and years and originally I watched my dad, Derek Freeman, compete.

“I did not have much success at the competition until recently.

“Last year I was a losing finallist and this year I won the women’s title and my team The Mutt’s Nutts R Us won the team event.

“It is sheer luck to win but it’s good fun.

“It was very exciting and I am very happy to have won it.”

Julie, of South Luffenham, was joined in The Mutt’s Nutts team by husband and wife Warren and Sara Duffy plus Peter Cunnington and they all wore dog outfits.

The Conker King was Chelsea Pensioner John Riley, 85.

The conker championship has raised £415,000 to help charities aid the visually impaired.

St John Burkett, an organiser of the World Conker Championship, said: “It was a fantastic event.

“We had people coming from all over the world and there was a lovely atmosphere.

“We had 230 entries in the adult competition and a similar number in the children’s.

“Julie was a worthwhile winner. She was runner up last year and by winning this year she has proved that she has a good conker playing technique.”