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Flyball fans to set up new canine club

By Fiona Reid
Flyball fans to set up new canine club

A ‘PAW-SOME’ new sport is coming to Annandale and Eskdale especially for dogs and their owners.

Eaglesfield couple Mark and Lesley Head want to set up a local flyball club and are looking for canines to get involved.

Flyball sessions involve teams of four dogs running a relay, jumping across four jumps, retrieving a ball then returning to their handler. In total six dogs can be used with them being rotated.

Mark describes it as ‘a really exciting sport that combines speed, tactics and team work’.

The Heads first tried flyball in September 2017 when they joined a team based in Carlisle.

In March 2018 they entered their first competition with Lesley running beardie cross Wilf and Mark box loading.

He said: “We enjoyed our time with the club taking part in various competitions, including the British Flyball Association (BFA) championships in 2018. Shortly afterwards we joined another Cumbria based club and continued to take part in competitions until the pandemic.

“We recently decided to see if we could set up our own local club and have had some interest.”

They are in the process of registering with the BFA and seeking approval for their team name, Annandale Diamonds.

Explaining what kind of dogs can take part, Mark said: “Any dogs can take part so long as they are interested in balls, have good recall and are friendly.

“Dogs have to cross close to each other so they can’t be reactive. They must be at least one year old, friendly and interested in tennis balls!”

Initially they plan to undertake one-to-one training focusing on the dogs going over the jumps and retrieving a ball. After that they will introduce the box they have to retrieve from and other dogs initially in pairs.

In addition to dog handlers, they are also looking for a box loader.

There are various competitions across Scotland and the North and it is the intention to have at least one team from Annandale taking part in the future.

To find out more or express an interest, contact Mark on 07774122252.

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