A SOUTHWICK car dealer has celebrated a successful year in the world of dog agility.
Mike Evans, managing director of Brighton Mitsubishi, and his springer spaniel Kes have been taking part in dog agility competitions across the country.
When he is not working at the Old Shoreham Road car dealership, he is often busy with his new hobby.
The 2013 season saw Mike, who lives in Sompting with his wife Laura, celebrate a number of triumphs, despite being fairly recent arrivals on the circuit.
The dog sport involves handlers directing their dog through an obstacle course in a race judged on time and accuracy.
Mike first heard of the sport three years ago and began training, but did not intend to take part in competitions at first.
“We were thinking of leaving it until next year but then we were invited to a show at Cranleigh, Surrey,” he explained.
“We had some fun but didn’t have great results and then we entered another one at Mapledurham. With the training that we’d been doing, we got a first and a second place.
“This meant I had gained enough points to go from the beginners’ class to novice. So we went up a class within two weekends.”
He is expecting to go into senior, and maybe even championship class, next year.
Mike and Kes belong to Dog Tales, a training club in Findon which runs
the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme.
“It’s a great club,” said Mike. “And it’s great to win some trophies and rosettes. I wasn’t expecting to do so well so quickly.”
Meanwhile, Laura has competed with Kye, their other dog, but ill health has caused it to lose its balance.
Mike said: “On her first trip out she got a first-place and completed a clear round.
“But we will have to see what happens over the winter as it’s not safe for him to use some of the equipment at the moment.”