One would think that restricted mobility would spell the end of success in dog agility competitions – but on board of her mobility scooter, Trixie Gillard hasn’t slowed down at all!
A 70-year-old agility veteran from Yeovil, Trixie has trained and competed in dog agility for over 20 years. These days she relies on her mobility scooter to compete, get around, and live a fully independent life along with her Golden Retrievers Seamus, Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby.
Trixie first tried a mobility scooter at Blenheim Palace thanks to the hire service provided by charity Event Mobility. The Supersport resembles a motorbike more than a traditional mobility product, and is known as the ‘Harley Davidson’ of scooters.
“I still get a buzz from competing and my dogs love it.”
Trixie explains, “I use a TGA Supersport as I have osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia, so a lot of pain and exhaustion to contend with. Plus, an acute back injury which means I can’t stand for very long.
“I used to compete on my feet but that would be impossible now, thank goodness I can with my Supersport.”
Trixie competes in around 20 competitions annually; she has competed in many prestigious ranking events including a third place, with Sapphire, at the Para Agility World Championships. She trains at least once a week at Pawsability located in Somerton.
There are several of us in the UK using scooters or wheelchairs and we have shown we can hold our own in this very competitive sport.
“I still get a buzz from competing and my dogs love it,” Trixie says. “I’m originally from the ‘horse world’ and use my experience of riding courses to improve our times especially as directing a dog is more challenging than controlling a horse!
“My scooter has to be able to respond and turn accurately which is so important otherwise you can easily put your dog off, resulting in time penalties.”
She adds, “I compete all year with able-bodied competitors and they have got used to seeing me on the Supersport. There are several of us in the UK using scooters or wheelchairs and we have shown we can hold our own in this very competitive sport.
“Dog agility will continue to be a huge part of my life thanks to my scooter, however my current eighth pup will be the last I train. So many people still comment on my Supersport as it really is an attention grabber!”
Image courtesy of TGA Mobility Limited.