I have owned dogs all my life and I have been involved in competitive obedience and
gundog work for about 60 years. I competed with a Corgi in obedience up to Championship
My great love was breeding
Labradors. Due to running a small kennels, I have been adopted by Springer Spaniels as
I have been involved in agility
since it started and have trained with Kathrin Tasker at the MAD club for many years.
Well into my 80s I rescued a Working Sheepdog from
a watery grave. I could not resist her. She was so small and vulnerable. Having worked
sheepdogs on the Cumbrian Fells I knew Flora wouldn’t be happy unless she had a job to
do. She was wild and did not take to obedience kindly. Agility came to the rescue. After
patience and expert training from Pat and Kathrin, she became hooked – so did I, even
more than before!
As I am now 88 years old, I am not sprinting as
fast as my younger class members, so with Kathrin's help we have taught Flora to work
away from me.
I have been placed with Flora in Starters and
Novice at every show I went to and have a lovely collection of highly coloured rosettes.
The most important thing to me is that Flora is such a wonderful, happy and affectionate
dog now - full of fun and a real joy to be with.
Kathrin Tasker Comments
Mary is a fantastic pupil and
progressed in fact much better than some of her younger classmates. If you asked her to
practice something, she would go home and do her homework on her own agility equipment.
By the time she was 80, she was
well hooked and having trained with a Labrador and Springer Spaniels, she felt it was
about time she tried her luck with a collie! Everyone thought she was mad. I told her to
go for it!
We trained her Collie to do most
of the work for her and she has now a wait, that most Advanced handlers would be envious
of. She is an incredible lady and now at 88 years of age is still competing and has been
collecting a place rosette in all the shows she has gone to.
I am incredibly proud of Mary and
feel very privileged to be able to teach her. Watching her get a buzz out of her collie
Flora working for her is a great reward for me too!"