A Blackpool architectural assistant is celebrating after her border collie triumphed in an international dog agility competition.
Nicola Wildman, 26, and two year-old Zest have just returned from the prestigious Kennel Club Olympia Stakes finals.
The country’s most talented agility dogs and handlers had competed in qualifying heats at agility shows across the country in an attempt to gain a place in the finals, held from December 14 to 18 as part of the London International Horse Show.
Nicola has been competing in agility for 21 years and this was her first time in the main arena at Olympia with Zest.
After coming second in the semi-finals and fifth in the final, Nicola said: “She was second in the semi-final in the morning which meant she got through to the final in the evening and she came fifth in the second fastest time.
I’m really, really pleased with that considering she’s only done full agility courses for seven months. Next time she will have to qualify for the senior.”
Nicola said she thoroughly enjoyed the whole occasion.
“It was really, really good, there were big crowds and the dogs feed off it,” she said.
Zest qualified in the heats this year and went on to get the fastest time in the quarter finals.
Zest’s Kennel Club name is Devongem Freekin Awesome.
Cleveleys-born Nicola, runs her own agility club Wild Paws Agility and is also a member of Wyre Agility Club, which trains at Myerscough College.
Alongside her agility training, Nicola works at Joseph Boniface Architects Ltd, Blackpool, as an architectural assistant.
This year Zest has won from grade three into grade six and also won the Camddwr Cup.