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From underdogs to top dogs

Posted onPosted on 16th Jun
From underdogs to top dogs

Samworth Church Academy’s weekly dog club, which aims to develop positive relationships between children and dogs, won a first place at its first competition.

Samworth Striders, which was seeded last, triumphed at the British Flyball Association event in Pontefract.

Members handled four dogs, who raced in relay over hurdles. The dogs had to collect a tennis ball from a box, which has to be released by the dog pressing a pressure pad, before returning over the hurdles.

Kirsty Price, a teacher at the academy who runs the dog handling sessions, said: “Our handlers were praised for their professional attitude and sportsmanship at the competition, and made me so proud. We were the underdogs in that division, but it has boosted our confidence and hopes for the future.”

Members of the winning team were Chris Ryder, Kiale Mullen, Jake Stevenson, Imogen Walton and Leia Hollingworth. The dogs were Echo, who is six and has just started training again after major eye surgery; three-year-olds Mist and Storm who have been running in open competitions for a few months; and five-year-old Poppy.

The club, chiefly comprising students and local residents, has qualified for a Flyball Junior Silver Award, and some members are on their way to gold.

Samworth Striders hopes to compete at Crufts as part of the Young Kennel Club Association.

Pictured, back row, are Kiale Mullen with Echo, Vicky Price with Sonic, Kirsty Price with Bolt, Bret Wilson, Andrea Lawrence and Jack Burrows-Crawford. Front, Georgia Betts with Cloud, Imogen Walton with Mist, Jake Stevenson with Poppy, Alex Hind with Rain and Leia Hollingworth with Storm.