Meet Marita.

“Agility is not just a sport for me but rather a way of life, after breaking my back at 15 years old my life changed dramatically. I have always been very sport-oriented, and before my accident, I competed in many different sports including trampolining, dancing, netball, tag rugby and gymnastics, however, I never felt overly passionate about any of them. On my road to recovery, I came across agility and fell in love with the sport. Agility gave me the focus, passion and determination to make my health the best it can be by working on diet, mindset and physical condition.

I have always been a huge animal lover and grew up with two Jack Russell’s and a Weimaraner. At 19 years old I brought my first dog Isla, I started teaching tricks to Isla when she was a puppy which furthered my interest in dog training. Trick training has been one of the most critical aspects of training my dogs, I don’t believe they would have the same skills in agility, life or communication skills if they had not have learnt all the tricks. We still train tricks several times a week, and they are part of our warm-up.

It wasn’t until I got Harvey, my rescue Spitz from Ireland that I decided to take them to an obedience club. After several beneficial months at the obedience club, I came across an agility club and thought I would give it ago. I remember being in the beginner’s group looking across to the Grade 7 group and thinking that is exactly what I want to do. That was it, I was hooked!

Isla competed in agility for a year getting to Grade 6 but sadly was found to have luxating patella’s on both knees and had them operated on, she now enjoys being spoilt and shopping at agility shows! After a few years of competing with Harvey, I decided I wanted to train a large dog and compete in both heights. Duka, my Border Collie, arrived in 2016 and now both dogs compete at championship level and internationally.

From the moment I got hooked on agility, I have dedicated our days to improving our fitness, diet, agility skills and mindset. I believe agility is like any other sport and to perform you need to work on the whole package and not just the agility training. I view myself and my dogs as athletes, and so our training programme reflects this. There is no quick route to success, but instead, you get there from the accumulation of incremental gains in all aspects of your training. This belief has led me to the creation of this website to help people, not only with agility training but also with all of the other important aspects that create the whole package.”

Harvey

Harvey Bird

“There will never be another Harvey, he is unique in every way and makes me melt every time I look at him. Harvey was rescued from the pound in Ireland at 8 months old. Harvey has been tough to train, he doesn’t follow any normal patterns and, in the beginning, left me perplexed on many occasions. After conquering running out the ring and lack of drive, Harvey went from Grade 1-7 in one season, and the following year we started entering championship classes. In his first year at championship level, Harvey won 3 reserves, and the next year Harvey won his first Championship ticket. Harvey has competed for Team GB at the European Open for 2 years and for Team England for the 3 years at the World Agility Open where he won Gold. Harvey has also competed at Crufts for 3 years straight. No matter how many dogs I train over the coming years, there will be nothing more rewarding than competing with Harvey at international level and winning a ticket with the world’s naughtiest dog!”

Duka

Agility Champion Lalapaws Taken by Surprise

”The sweetest, most cuddly dog but also a bit of a clown! Duka makes me smile every day, but also laugh at her comedic personality. Duka is super talented, she started competing in December 2017 and went from Grade 3-7 in the shortest period. By early 2018 Duka was competing at championship level and won her first Championship ticket early in the season. Duka competed in the Championship class at Crufts 2020 after winning 2 more championship tickets  making her an Agility Champion. Duka has also won 4 Reserve Championships tickets. Duka competed for Team GB in her first agility season at the European Open 2018 and is one of the youngest dogs to do so from the UK. Duka has also competed at the FCI World Championships. Duka makes every run fun, there is never a moment that goes by that Duka isn’t happy which makes our journey together even more enjoyable.”

Isla

The Original One

”The oldie of the bunch! Isla is bold and in charge of everyone even though she only weighs 3.5kg but she means business. My dog training journey started with Isla and together we found agility. Isla won up to Grade 6 but unfortunately had to have both luxating patella’s operated on so I decided to stop agility with her as I wanted to ensure I minimised the impact on her legs to ensure we have a long, healthy life together. Isla is the queen of tricks and is by my side all day, every day.”

Cicada

Darleyfalls Cryptic Enigma

”The youngster, Cicada is a character! From the moment she arrived home she has been full of life and I couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect girl. She is crazy, confident and a little powerhouse but she is also very thoughtful and has great clarity in her thinking even when she is super excited. Nothing phases her and we are loving our journey together so far.”

Watch the action…

If you’re wondering what Marita and her dogs work like out in the ring, check out the videos below to watch them in action:

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