Croxton Kerrial woman and four legged friend to compete at Para Agility World Championships 2022
A woman from Croxton Kerrial and her four legged friend Gambler are heading to compete in the Para Agility World Championships 2022.
Sarah Fenby previously competed in the competition in 2019 with her dog Karma, but Sarah is heading back to the finals this year in Voghera, Italy in August with her Xoloitzcuintle Gambler.
Handlers in the tournaments take part in seven different grades covering of a variety of disabilities. In 2012, Sarah underwent surgery to remove a sarcoma.
She added: "It's a huge honour to represent the UK at the P.A.W.C.
"If you've seen agility on the TV at Crufts you'll notice one thing, it's fast. I'm anything but fast!
"This means competing against regular dogs and handlers is hard, even finding trainers who can adapt to my handling style and work around what I can and can't physically achieve is difficult.
"There are no para competitions in the UK so the opportunity to compete on a level playing field against others who have the same difficulties is amazing.
"Watching all the other grades of competition is truly inspirational, there are handlers that can run, handlers in wheelchairs and even blind handlers.
"There is definitely no such word as can't at P.A.W.C!"
During the competition Sarah has three runs planned for Gambler.
This includes two jumping runs which are mostly different types of jumps with tunnels and the weave pole and one agility run with larger equipment including the see saw, dog walk and A-frame.
This is the first time the competition has been held since Sarah last competed in 2019 as it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.
Sarah said: "My dogs are my life!
"Things felt pretty empty without competitions, training and all the people that go with it.
"Agility has a huge social aspect too and it is amazing to be back seeing people we've missed for so long and spent time with our dogs again.
"Obviously the P.A.W.C tournament was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021, so we missed out on going to Switzerland which would have been my last opportunity to take my previous competing dog Karma before she retired.
"Gambler is a completely different character who missed much of the prep a young dog usually gets because there were no small shows to gain experience at."
In 2019, Sarah brought home the silver medal with her dog Karma, but "it would be amazing to bring home another medal," Sarah added.
On July 31, a breed fun day which includes a dog show to show off all breeds at Croxton Kerrial Sports and Social Club is being held and all money raised will go towards funding Sarah and Gambler's trip to Italy.