Horncastle pet and owner to compete in 'dog Olympics'
THEY say dogs are man's best friend, but for one woman, her dog is also her personal trainer and team mate.
Tracy Evans from Horncastle, and her dog Oscar, are competing in a championships which is the dog equivalent to the Olympics.
The 15th ECF European Canicross Federation Championships will be held from October 13-14 at Cirencester Park.
The championships features teams from across the world and Tracy and Oscar are members of 2012 Team UK.
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Tracey first got involved with Canicross to help train Oscar, a German shepherd cross husky.
She said: "I got involved to benefit Oscar but now I love the racing and do it for the fun. Not only is it good for Oscar but I have lost three-and-a-half stone en route."
Tracy and her husband, Chris, rescued Oscar from a dog pound in Ingham when he was seven months old. He had already had three owners previously.
He was underweight, didn't socialise and had a fear of aggression.
It was thought he may have to be put down, but with a great deal of patience and training he improved.
Tracy said: "I started running with Oscar initially to work off some of his husky instincts, to help with his rehabilitation and training, then a friend recommended Canicross racing."
Tracy originally took Oscar to Westville Dog Training classes which are held in Tattershall Village Hall each Tuesday evening.
She is now chairman of the club and having lost two trainers within a year, the volunteer committee were told that the club would have to close if other trainers and helpers were not found. They now have three regular trainers and two who help when needed.
She said: "After the initial experience with Oscar, I feel very strongly about the importance of puppy and dog training."
In May, Tracy finished her first complete Canicross season and came fifth in the championship table in her age group.
She and Oscar also ran at Crufts this year coming fourth in her age group plus they also take part in beginners agility and companion shows.
She has just returned from a training camp and is looking forward to October and the ECF championships.