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Watch: Dog agility world champion from Suffolk leads her pups on mobility scooter

PUBLISHED: 16:44 08 September 2018

The Dodger in full fight during the competion in Huntingdon against trainers and dogs from around the world. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

The Dodger in full fight during the competion in Huntingdon against trainers and dogs from around the world. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

TONY PUTMAN

A Suffolk dog owner has been crowned a diamond in the ruff after her pup picked up first place at the disability dog agility world championships.

Julie Thomson, who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) and uses an electric wheelchair, led her dogs The Dodger and Nancy Jelly Tot to a raft of rosettes and awards – with Nancy eventually being crowned world champion at the competition in Huntingdon on August 26.

Dodger picked up a gold and a silver on his runs, but Nancy’s silver and two bronzes made her the most consistent and overall winner.

The scooter Julie uses to lead the dogs is a regular mobility buggy - with the acceleration tweaked to give her the speed she needs to keep up with her dogs. Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe scooter Julie uses to lead the dogs is a regular mobility buggy - with the acceleration tweaked to give her the speed she needs to keep up with her dogs. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Speaking back at her regular training ground, Ace Agility in Glemsford, Mrs Thomson said: “It really was the experience of a lifetime, we spent most of the weekend in tears – mostly of joy, but also at the ability of the other handlers from around the world.

“I’m still on cloud nine really. There’s a really big group online that Jacqui Wood – my trainer – was sharing our story on and the next week, when we went to another competition, there were so many people who knew about us.

Dodger has not let his success go to his head and still trains with Julie five days a week. Picture: RACHEL EDGEDodger has not let his success go to his head and still trains with Julie five days a week. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“It was my 15 minutes of fame.”

Nancy, a six year old Labradoodle, has been trained in agility since she was a puppy, but Dodger, a nine year old Patterdale-Terrier cross, picked up the sport after being spotted at obedience sessions.

Nancy has only been training for four years, so she still has plenty of time to catch up with Dodger. Picture: RACHEL EDGENancy has only been training for four years, so she still has plenty of time to catch up with Dodger. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Trainer Jacqui Wood described her student as an inspiration.

She said: “Every time she was called onto the podium I cried.

Nancy is a six-year-old Labradoodle. Picture: RACHEL EDGENancy is a six-year-old Labradoodle. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“There isn’t the words to describe the feeling – the closest word is elation.”

Mrs Thomson thanked all the people who supported her passion and her dogs – her sponsors Finer By Nature, Ardmore Veterinary Surgery in Sudbury, Tracy Chambers, who bred champion Nancy, and her husband Tommo.

Julie, Dodger and Nancy have been training with the UK ParAgility team for the last two years after being headhunted at a competitionin Ipswich. Picture: RACHEL EDGEJulie, Dodger and Nancy have been training with the UK ParAgility team for the last two years after being headhunted at a competitionin Ipswich. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

She reserved a special nod to the team at Glemsford’s Ace Agility and her trainer Jacqui Wood, whose hard work and dedication is already generating interest from other disability dog trainers.

Mrs Thomson added: “I do not think there are many trainers out there who have her ability or eye – I have never trained with anyone as talented as her.

Dodger is a nine-year-old Terrier cross.Picture: RACHEL EDGEDodger is a nine-year-old Terrier cross.Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“She’s a magician who can turn a disability into an ability.

“Hopefully this will encourage people to try something they thought they couldn’t do, just like me.”

Competing under their full titles, Nancy Jelly Tot finished second in the championships and The Dodger scooped the top spot on the day in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Picture: RACHEL EDGECompeting under their full titles, Nancy Jelly Tot finished second in the championships and The Dodger scooped the top spot on the day in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Dodger has been training in agility for the last six years. Picture: RACHEL EDGEDodger has been training in agility for the last six years. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Mrs Thomson poses alongside her haul of rosettes and trophies collected from the ParAgility world Championships (PAWC). Picture: RACHEL EDGEMrs Thomson poses alongside her haul of rosettes and trophies collected from the ParAgility world Championships (PAWC). Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Julie Thomson with trainer Jacqui Wood alongside ParAgility world champion Dodger (footwell) and runner-up Nancy (lap). Picture: RACHEL EDGEJulie Thomson with trainer Jacqui Wood alongside ParAgility world champion Dodger (footwell) and runner-up Nancy (lap). Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Dodger in action on the agility course. Picture: RACHEL EDGEDodger in action on the agility course. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The two dogs train at Ace Agility in Glemsford with agility whizz Jacqui Wood. Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe two dogs train at Ace Agility in Glemsford with agility whizz Jacqui Wood. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Nancy finished in second place overall, with a third member of the British team picking up the bronze in the category. Picture: TONY PUTMANNancy finished in second place overall, with a third member of the British team picking up the bronze in the category. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

Nancy taking on the weave poles on the agility course. Picture: TONY PUTMANNancy taking on the weave poles on the agility course. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

Mrs Thomson atop the podium after her debut and win at the world championships. Picture: TONY PUTMANMrs Thomson atop the podium after her debut and win at the world championships. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

The infamous weave poles of dog agility courses being tackled by Dodger, now the World Champion in Julie's disability class. Picture: TONY PUTMANThe infamous weave poles of dog agility courses being tackled by Dodger, now the World Champion in Julie's disability class. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

Dodger leaping over a hurdle on the agility course. Picture: TONY PUTMANDodger leaping over a hurdle on the agility course. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

Julie Thomson had to go up twice to collect a first and second place rosette for the brilliant performance of her dogs. Picture: TONY PUTMANJulie Thomson had to go up twice to collect a first and second place rosette for the brilliant performance of her dogs. Picture: TONY PUTMAN

Nancy Jelly Tot being awarded the silver at the recent ParAgility World Championships (PAWC). Picture: TONY PUTMANNancy Jelly Tot being awarded the silver at the recent ParAgility World Championships (PAWC). Picture: TONY PUTMAN

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