I live near Winchester with my husband, son, four dogs and two cats. I work in PR which can be quite stressful, so agility for me, is a great way to spend time with my dogs, friends and really relax.
I grew up on farm in Surrey with my Grandparents. They always had dogs but it wasn’t until I moved to Donegal in Ireland, 12 years ago that we got our first dog. Jesse is a Lab X, and definitely a great first dog but not really agility material. However, she was quickly followed by Badger, a border collie from a working farm (his grandmother had appeared on ‘one man and his dog’.) He was the runt of the litter and although super clever, not destined for the hills of Donegal, so he came to live with us.
I had always wanted to try agility with him. But it wasn’t until we moved back to England in 2010 and I did an agility course at Sparsholt College that I started to catch the bug. After a few years, I realized I wanted to take it further and I was introduced to UpAndover in 2013.
The training Badge and I have received at the club has been invaluable. After a lot of hard work we have seen some amazing improvements. In 2014 we moved up from beginners to novice at UKA, and we even started to get a few places at the Kennel Club shows. I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it and there is nothing better than spending a day out with Badger and the other UpAndover members at a show in the wild English weather, challenging yourself to remember and do all the things you have practiced in training.
I only wish I had started sooner with Badger, but I am determined that one day I WILL get him to weave on the right side. The agility bug has now well and truly taken over. My third dog is Jango or Mr Jelly Legs. A pointer X Lab X (a good old mixture with long legs) rescue dog, Jango is now two. He has been on the foundation course at the club for the last 12 months but because we started from the beginning I really can see the potential…it just might take a bit of time. He is a fast, enthusiastic and we are already having a lot of fun together. Finally, there is wee Foxie Botts – she is a one year old jack Russell cross rescue. Super fast and full of attitude. I can’t wait to get her started at UpAndover.
The Events Manager role is very varied, from organizing the club’s Christmas Party to managing the inter-club matches with other clubs, through to helping with the ring parties. This role means I can get a bit more involved with the club, continue to make new friends and still keep on learning.
Want to have a go at Agility? Try our Fun Taster Session Thursday 20th September 2018. Keep checking back here for more details.
UpAndOver Dog Agility Club came into existence on 1 September 2013 but remains very much the same club as it was, under the charge of Mark and Karen Laker, as UpAndOver Agility Dogs.