A Worthing dog trainer has won a national award with her rescue collie cross Nessa.
Jenny Hastie from High Salvington competes at the Agility Club in the Large Grade 7 category and eight-year-old Nessa has been crowned Agility Dog of the Year, having won not only her league but the most points overall for 2019.
Nicola Ayres, points secretary, said: “The Agility Club leagues are a huge undertaking. Every year, thousands of points are added to the database, which all need checking, verifying and collating to give our winners.
“To be crowned the top handler and dog team in any of the leagues is an incredible achievement.
“Nessa has done incredibly well to be crowned the winner of Grade 7 large league with 1,353 points. Not only that but she has also been crowned Agility Dog of the Year, gaining more points than any other dog at any other height or grade.”
Jenny, who runs Jenpaws Agility Group in Cowfold, is thrilled to have won the prestigious award and has been invited to the awards ceremony in March.
She and her husband Ian fostered Nessa from Ainmhithe Animal Rescue in Ireland when she was five months old.
Jenny said: “Within two weeks, and after two families had decided she wasn’t the dog for them, we decided she was the dog for us and became failed fosterers.
“I had already started agility with a rescue collie that I had adopted the year before and as I was already an agility addict, I soon started training Nessa. Nessa took to it immediately and absolutely loves it and was winning classes as soon as she was able to compete at 18 months.”
As a result of adopting Nessa, Ian became involved in rehoming other dogs from Ainmhithe and now finds homes, many with agility handlers, for up to 100 dogs each year.
Jenny said: “Agility is a very sociable activity, keeping you and your dog fit. Some people just enjoy a weekly session to give their dogs some fun, and then there are others, like me, who really caught the bug and are out in all weathers, running several dogs in competitions over most of the weekends of the year, up and down the country.”
At Jenpaws Agility Group, Jenny teaches about 40 dogs and their handlers each week.
The Agility Club is the oldest club in the world solely dedicated to the sport of dog agility and the leagues have been running for more than 30 years. Members win points from agility competitions during the year in seven grades, depending on the experience of the dog. For more information visit www.agilityclub.org