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weight to raise funds. The fact that she suffers from
fibromyalgia, a debilitating and painful condition, only
makes her achievement even more remarkable. Two
of the younger and fitter supporters raised an
impressive amount by doing a sponsored walk. Team
members baked cakes, made and sold fleece tuggies
and encouraged work colleagues to gamble on
numbers boards and buy grand raffle tickets all bets
were off when it came to fundraising!
When Eukanuba agreed to be our main sponsor, it
gave the team a real boost. This sponsorship, plus the
efforts made by team members and supporters,
allowed us to cover all the major expenses involved in
the trip, including team outfits, accommodation,
Eurotunnel travel, fuel and the event entry fee
, says
Tricia.
This had been our aim from the start, since we
didn
t want financial issues to stand in the way of the
best dogs and handlers trying out for the team. But
setting yourself a goal and achieving it are two
different things. We couldn
t have done it without all
the help we received and we really appreciate the
generosity of the Scottish agility community.
Once the team arrived in Belgium and the competition
started, it soon became clear that Scotland was well
able to hold its own against countries with far greater
international experience.
We were made very
welcome by the other countries and the event crew,
and received many compliments on our dogs,
handlers and organisational abilities
, says Tricia.
The
team spirit was second to none and everyone pulled
together to make the trip a success. A special mention
must go to the grooms and reserve handlers who had
travelled with us. Their hard work was crucial to the
team
s success.
After three days of competition, highs and lows,
sunshine, thunder, torrential downpours, bruises,
sweat and yes some tears, the team could look
back at some fantastic results. The first indication that
the Scottish team was right up there with the rest of
the world came when all team members qualified
through to the second day of competition, avoiding
the dreaded disqualification from further progress
due to a double elimination or a place among the
bottom 20% of competitors in the individual
pentathlon. Further indication of the team
s qualities
came in the form of two 3rd places in two legs of the
Team Agility Pentathlon, and a collection of rosettes
from the individual events.
But final proof of the team
s success came late on
Sunday, the last day of the competition, when the
medals were presented during the closing ceremony.
Team member Natasha Davis and her little PJRT Indie
were called to the podium to receive the Bronze
medal for the Individual Biathlon, to huge cheers from
the rest of the team. And when Laura Innes with her
collie Kadyn and Donna Kerse with her collie Ace
climbed up onto the podium to collect their well-
deserved Silver and Gold medals from the Games
Championships, the whole hall erupted. The sight and
sound of competitors from other countries clapping
along and attempting to dance the Highland fling as
Scotland The Brave
rang out over the PA system will
probably be one of the best-remembered moments of
the whole event.
Any plans that Tricia, Kerstin and Monica had of
taking a break after returning home were scuppered
by the announcement that next year, the World
Agility Open Championships will take place in Spain.
The logistics are such that we need to start planning
the trip and how to fund it immediately. We also hope
to continue to work with Eukanuba, since their
sponsorship was one of the keys to the team
s
success
, Tricia concludes.
Plans for Scotland
s WAO team selection day are
already being drawn up. It will be held at the Howe
Country Centre on
Saturday 13th
October 2012. The
team management are
also planning a fun
show on the Sunday,
the day after the
selection event.
Schedules for both
competitions will be
available soon.
For further
information on
Agility Team
Scotland, please
visit
www.agilityteamscotland.webs.com
www.agilityclub.org
35
Courtesy of Ian Watts Photography