Schoolgirl Evie leads the field with Blaze

Evie Coyne, 12, of Epworth , with her dogs Blaze (l) and Moss, and her trophy and her rosettes which she won at an international dog agility event. Picture: Andrew Roe
Evie Coyne, 12, of Epworth , with her dogs Blaze (l) and Moss, and her trophy and her rosettes which she won at an international dog agility event. Picture: Andrew Roe

DOGGED determination has led an Epworth schoolgirl to a major success in the show ring, at the tender age of 12.

Evie Coyne amazed the dog world last year when she scooped the Under 12’s title at the Junior International Dog Agility Championships.

But now she has done it again - taking silver with border collie Blaze as the youngest competitor in the age 12 to 18 category, in a field of almost 90 other entrants from all over the world.

And to add to her achievements, Evie has now been asked to join the England agility squad for training.

Evie’s grandmother, Pauline Sharpe of Owston Ferry, explained: “The girl that beat Evie was 18-years-old, and from Scotland. It’s amazing what Evie’s accomplished. And now she’s been selected for training with the England squad. “That means she may go to Holland with the junior team in September this year. It’s a real achievement. We’re very proud of her.”

South Axholme Academy pupil Evie, of Blacksmith’s Close, is trained by her grandfather Bob Sharpe.

Bob and Pauline, a dog psychologist, run the Field of Dreams Training and Agility school near Kirton-in-Lindsey.

But they are quick to impress that Evie became interested in working with the dogs by her own volition, and puts in the hours of training because she loves what she is doing.

“Evie works very hard at getting it right, but she was spotted as a natural by a high level judge in her first competition,” explained Pauline.

“She has only been doing this for two years but she’s so committed, and she picks everything up very quickly.

“To get a dog around 20 obstacles in about 32 seconds, which is what is demanded of you in the show ring, you have to have a great rapport with the dog.

“So far Evie has worked and competed with our dogs, but in July she will compete for the first time with her own dog Ace. She has reared Ace from a puppy of eight weeks, and they are wonderful together.”

The pair also take part in some heel work to music, in similar style to Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashley and Pudsey, who are now household names.

“We know Ashley and Pudsey through the show world,” added Pauline.

“In these last championships Evie was competing against Ashley’s sister. She was over the moon with her win, especially considering the high standard. She came home laden with rosettes and a great big trophy.”