“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.”
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: