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Winner of YKC Dog of the Year 2003

Hayley Wells and the family dog have been competing in Junior competitions now for just over two years. Toca is now a six year old Working Sheepdog and together with her Junior Handler, they won the YKC 2003 Agility Final in fine style. Hayley and Toca train at St. Davids DTC with Dawn Williams who interviews them here about their triumph at Crufts 2003.

I have known Hayley for all of her ten years as her Mother and I have been dog training together for at least 13-14 years. Janice and her husband Colin have always had German Shepherd Dogs, and Janice competed and won out of Starters with her second agility dog, Carly.  She progressed on to WSDs when I bred a litter of pups from Rudyard Daley and Moonlight Donít Stop Me Now (Daley and Flo), hence Toca came into their lives.

As we all appreciated at aged four Hayley was still too young to make a mark on training a young enthusiastic WSD, so Mum started the task with Hayley joining in around three years later. They both now jointly train the dog. Sometimes Hayley astounds us all with her ability to do some of the training exercises whilst the rest of us fail. It is good to see that a family can share a dog in both training and competition, and the dog works equally as well for both of them.

I travelled down to Crufts with Hayley and Janice and shared in their excitement for the day. A few days afterwards I spoke to Hayley about the competition to ask her about her win and how she enjoys agility.

I asked the following questions:-

Dawn: What is it about agility that you like the best?

Hayley:

I love training Toca and competing with her at shows.
   
Dawn: What did you feel like when you were asked to compete at Crufts 2003?
Hayley: I was really excited, but a little scared too.
   
Dawn: How often did you train leading up to Crufts?
Hayley: I train every week at our local club, and I did a little bit of extra contact work at home.
   
Dawn: Were you concerned about anything at the Competition?
Hayley: I was a little worried how Toca would re-act on the carpet, but she coped really well.
   
Dawn: Did you enjoy it and will you be trying to get there next year?
Hayley:


 

I had never been to Crufts before so I was very nervous, but I had a wonderful time, I was just really pleased that we had qualified to go there, but I never expected to win the overall competition. Toca worked really well and I am very proud of her. I would love to go again next year.
   
Dawn: What do you want for the future?
Hayley: I would really love to have a puppy of my own and train it up to competition standard, and hopefully qualify it for Crufts.

It will be interesting to watch Hayley in the forthcoming years, and I hope that she will continue to enjoy the sport for as long as both her Mother and I have. Although there is one thing she is going to have to watch out for in the coming few years Ė her younger sister, Sophie!

About the author...
Dawn Williams came into agility by chance in 1986 when she acquired her first dog, a Crossbreed called Gem. Originally they went to pet obedience classes at her local training club which had recently relocated their agility training classes to an Agricultural Showground in Shrewsbury. In 1987 she started with agility.

She started competing in March 1988, and her first Agility Show was at Yarkhill. Some of you may even remember the venue!

Dawn now lives in Oswestry with Don and their 11 dogs which still includes her first dog, Gem. She regularly competes around the country with her two competing dogs, Flo and Billie. They have successfully bred two litters of dogs from Flo (Moonlight Donít Stop me Now )and Daley (Rudyard Daley). Most of the pups have won into Senior/Advanced status.

Both Dawn and Don now take their own training classes at the Showground and are affiliated to St. Davids DTC.