WORCESTER schoolgirl Violet Higgins and her six-year-old terrier, Chase, have won a place on Team England for the World Agility Open competition.
Violet, aged 11, will compete in the 300 height at the competition, to be hosted in The Netherlands in May – just four years since taking up the energetic activity which tests the skills of handler, dog and their partnership.
And they have also qualified for Young Kennel Club individual and pairs classes at Crufts 2023.
Violet, the youngest member of Worcester Agility Club, qualified for the international competition at Team England tryouts (against adults) last summer, then had to be in the top ten of the junior league to qualify for the UK Agility Grand Finals last October, where they won their class.
The dynamic duo are trained twice a week and sponsored by Reef Agility, run by Mariann Bayliss, in Stourport – who has also won a place on the adult World Open team. Other sponsors include Black Pear Apparel and Black Pear Physio, both Worcester companies.
And Violet has the full support of her school, Nunnery Wood.
Because Dog Agility is not classed as a sport, it receives no funding so sponsors are being sought and a number of fundraising activities planned to support Violet and the team finance their entry fees, team kit and travel.
Potential sponsors can make contact via Facebook page Plaits for England.
Violet said: “Dog agility is a lot of fun and I’m really proud of Chase.
“We’re training hard to show the rest of the world what we can do in The Netherlands and make Worcester and England proud of us. Going to Crufts is an added bonus and 2023 is going to be really special”.
Trainer Mariann said: “Violet has shown the dedication needed to reach such a high level in her first year of competing and thoroughly deserves her place both in the World Open and at Crufts”.