Donna and wee Kayla are set for the big stage

A tiny Jack Russell from the Borders will be putting on a show in London this weekend at the prestigious Kennel Club Olympia Agility Stakes finals.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 11:05 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 8:19 am

Seven-year-old Kayla, owned by Monica Kerr, of Hawick, loves to take on agility obstacles so much the biggest problem is getting her to wait at the start gate.

Handler Donna Kerse, 35, of Melrose, is looking after Kayla in her bid for stardom tomorrow, Friday, December 16.

Monica asked Donna, an ambulance technician at Melrose, to handle Kayla after she was injured in an accident a couple of years ago, and the pair have worked well together.

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While this is their first appearance together at Olympia, part of the International Horse Show at Earls Court, Donna and Kayla have also competed at Crufts and represented their country at the world agility open championships earlier this year, and they have already qualified for both competitions in 2017.

Donna – who somehow manages to fit in training and competitions between shift patterns that include nights and weekends – said: “Kayla may be the smallest dog in the competition, but by heck can she move.

“She absolutely loves it out there.

“She’s a wee superstar.”

Monica, who hopes to watch the competition on the BBC red button service, said: “Kayla is very excited, and she is always raring to go. She will be a real crowd-pleaser.”

Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club’s secretary, said: “Olympia is a big highlight in the agility calendar.

“The standards continue to grow, and this year is no exception.

“We are looking forward to watching all those talented dogs and their handlers in action. With such a fantastic atmosphere, it’s certainly not one to miss.

“We would like wish all of the finalists from Scotland the best of luck and look forward to what is set to be another exciting year for the event.”