Borderers’ dogged determination to win

Local agility dogs to represent Scotland at World Agility Championships. Monica & Kayla.
Local agility dogs to represent Scotland at World Agility Championships. Monica & Kayla.

TWO Borderers are in the national team competing at the world dog agility championships in Belgium next week.

Hawick’s Monica Kerr represented Scotland in the championships last year with older dog Kira. And last autumn Kelso’s Donna Kerse was also part of the bronze medal-winning Scottish team with border collie brother and sister Jack and Ace.

Local agility dogs to represent Scotland at World Agility Championships.  Donna & Jack.

Local agility dogs to represent Scotland at World Agility Championships. Donna & Jack.

Last autumn the two veteran competitors – Monica with her young Jack Russell, Kayla this time – won through a tough selection competition to become part of the 11-strong team to contest this years world open. And they’ve been practising since.

A 10-year veteran in the sport, Monica has won the Kennel Club’s agility champion title and the Scottish Agility Dog of the Year competition three times with Kira.

The Minto Golf Club secretary bought Kayla from a breeder two years ago. Last June, she was telling us: “Kayla’s very small, but I’m hoping she is good enough to jump the low height of 300mm. At the moment she’s showing a lot of promise and I’ve had lots of good feedback about her.“

Within a year, the little animal has developed so much that she is competing for Scotland. She is also appearing on television, in an advert for Seven Seas vitamins!

Donna, who works for the Scottish Ambulance Service, has been competing in agility for 15 years. A career high came when she and Ace came second in the Kennel Club agility finals at the Olympia Horse Show in 2010

Donna bought the successful pair, Jack and Ace, from a farmer.

The sport started in Britain in 1978 and Scotland team manager Tricia Elms said: “The aim of the World Agility Open is to showcase the highest level of agility training, human/canine partnership and athleticism, whatever the background of the dog. Pedigree dogs and crossbreeds are equally welcome, and the Scottish team usually includes one or more rescued dogs.”

Teams from throughout Europe and as far afield as Australia and Venezuela will compete at the championships in Neeroeteren from next Friday to Sunday, May 18-20.