Epworth’s Evie and dog Ace qualify for agility competition
Dogged determination has led an Epworth schoolgirl to a major success in the show ring, aged just 14.
Evie Coyne, of Blacksmith’s Close, amazed the dog world when she was just 12, scooping the Under 12s title at the Junior International Dog Agility Championships.
And now she has done it again - qualifying with canine sidekick Ace for the KC Novice Stakes, which runs on the Sunday night of the Horse of the Year Show at Olympia in December.
This competition is the pinnacle of the Dog Agility season, surpassing Crufts, and Evie will be running in front of a full house of 10,000 people.
To reach this stage Evie and border collie Ace won a class of almost 400 dogs in Cheshire in June, and then reached a top 30 place against the winners nationally in the semi final at the KC International festival.
Evie competes all over the country most weekends against adults and earlier this year took the first place prize money in the Dog Vegas final at Matlock.
She has now reached the level where most runs will be against semi professionals and her ambition is to make the England World Cup team next year.
Evie, a South Axholme Academy pupil, is trained by her grandfather Bob Sharpe of Owston Ferry.
Bob and wife Pauline, a dog psychologist, run the Field of Dreams Training and Agility school near Kirton-in-Lindsey.
But they are quick to impress that Evie became interested in working with the dogs by her own volition, and puts in the hours of training because she loves what she is doing.
“Evie works very hard at getting it right, but she was spotted as a natural by a high level judge in her first competition,” explained Pauline.
“She’s so committed, and she picks everything up very quickly.”
Bob said: “Age and fitness is no bar to enjoying this sport and we have competitors as young as five and as old as 70 training regularly.”
Dog agility involves a handler directing a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy.
Dogs run off leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles.
For more details about taking part in the world of dog agility contact Field of Dreams on 07736 880858 or visit the website http://www.fieldofdreamsdogtraining.co.uk/