Nessa - Sports & Performance


From being rescued by Ainmhithe Animal Rescue sanctuary in County Mayo to becoming a highly successful agility dog, Nessa the eight-year old collie-cross has been nominated for the Hardest Working Dog Award by The Agility Club for her dedication and commitment to the sport.

Jenny Hastie, Nessa’s owner, says: “Nessa came into Ainmhithe Animal Rescue, an animal sanctuary in County Mayo, Ireland, as one of a litter of four girls at the age of four months, having not had a very good start in life. We agreed to foster her on her arrival into the UK at nearly six months old, but we fell in love with her very quickly so became failed fosterers within a few days!”

“I started foundation agility with her within a couple of months as I had just started agility with another collie who we’d rescued the year before. My husband had been doing agility for a couple of years with our other dogs and I decided to join in. Nessa was competing by the time she was 18 months old and soon showed that she had lots of potential as she quickly started to be placed in competitions.”

“Nessa won The Agility Club Grade 6-7 Large Dog League in 2019 and was second in 2018. In 2019, she had more points than any other dog of the seven grades and three heights, which makes her Agility Dog of the Year 2019 – this is absolutely amazing, and my husband and I are thrilled. In becoming Agility Dog of the Year 2019, Nessa had 50 wins and over 100 top three places in Kennel Club agility classes. For a rescue dog with an unhappy start in life, she can hold her own against all the specially-bred agility dogs in the sport.”

“She has also won the Dog Agility Rescue League Grade 6-7, and Agilitynet has a senior league for older handlers (I am 66) and she has won our age category in that for not only large dogs but all heights of dogs.”

“She is amazingly consistent; but, being a small ‘large’ dog, doesn’t compete in qualifiers for Crufts or Olympia for two reasons: she would have to jump at a jump height that is higher than she is comfortable with (she is 47cm and the jump height is 65cm), and at 66 I would not be able to compete with all the fit youngsters that lead the way at the top of agility.”

“Nessa has proved that she can win classes all over the country and amass the greatest number of wins and places of any agility dog in The Agility Club of GB.”

“As a result of us rehoming Nessa, my husband and I became more involved with Ainmhithe and, consequently, Nessa was the start of several hundred of dogs finding homes in the UK.”

If you think Nessa’s hard work means she deserves to win the Sports & Performance Dogs category, putting her in the running for the title of Autarky Hardest Working Dog 2020, then make sure you cast your vote when voting goes live on January 20th, 2020.

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