All administrative responsibilities fall to this person, such as recording minutes from meetings and sending out communications from our members.
I have been involved in harness sports for around 7 years now, so am a relative newbie to the sport.
Previously I competed, judged and trained (still train!) dog agility which I’ve been involved in for many years. Prior to that my background has been horse sports which I’ve taken part in from childhood (so quite a long time ago!) until back and neck injuries stopped me. In that time, I have competed in various disciplines from showing hunters and mountain and moorlands at County level, to eventing, show jumping, team chasing and then latterly concentrating on dressage to National level with homebred horses.
I began dog agility (as so many people do) with the arrival of a very naughty Springer Spaniel, and very quickly I went from 2 dogs to 8 dogs, as I became more immersed in the sport. My initiation into harness sports happened with the arrival of my Ibizan Hound, Dan, from a Spanish rescue. Dan made it quite clear that agility wasn’t really going to be his thing, although I did spend a LOT of time trying to persuade him that he was wrong. Unfortunately, Dan’s ‘thing’ turned out to be sheep, and living in North Yorkshire made this a slight problem. Juggling a young dog who needed to run, with keeping him safe from his natural instincts meant that I needed to explore different avenues, and so my first scooter was purchased. Unfortunately, Dan was less keen on the scooter than I was, forcing me to do the unthinkable and take up running with him. Cue C25K, bruises, strains and more bruises.
After spending a year or two messing about running and scootering my dogs, I saw a wheels training camp advertised online and realised that other people also did it and that it was in fact a real ‘thing’ and that there were actually races we could do! Cue my competitive spirit kicking in.
With some trepidation I booked onto the wheels camp, with someone called Vickie Pullin, (who I later found out was actually really quite good at this sort of thing) and entered a race with Canicross Midlands for the weekend after. Nothing if not optimistic and ambitious!
I’m not completely sure what Vickie thought when I turned up at wheels camp with my ‘retro’ scooter and a bike I’d picked up from eBay for 15 quid (actually I’ve a reasonably good idea what she thought), but I had a fantastic few days, was absolutely blown away by the positivity and professionalism displayed by Vic and the whole Arctic Quest team, and came away completely hooked.
A couple of years later still, I now have 10 dogs, all but 2 of whom run in harness to one degree or another, and while I do still compete in agility with some of the dogs, harness sports are my real love. I raced on and off for a couple of years with my Spaniels and Dan, and even made the podium a couple of times, and have raced in bikejor, canicross and scooter classes. I then had a bit of time away from racing due to injuries but the arrival of my 2 little Trailhounds, Mel and Miss, and my young Ibizan Hound Cordelia(!) has boosted my motivation to get fit and racing again and although I have no ambition to race for titles, I do enjoy time spent out and about on the trails with all my dogs.