A 16 year old from Week St Mary had the great honour of representing Scotland at the World Agility Open championships in Ermelo in the Netherlands.
From the opening ceremony, through seven runs, international shirt swaps and the closing ceremony, it was an exciting, unforgettable experience for Will Bacchus and his spaniel Rudi.
Appropriately kilted, Will was incredibly proud to have been selected to carry the Saltire and to lead his team out at the opening and closing ceremonies.
The individual competitions included Pentathlon, Biathlon and Agility Games. Will was running as a junior but competing against all handlers on the same international courses. Only at the very end of the championships are the junior results separated out for final junior placings.
Pairings from 38 countries across six continents were taking part on suitably challenging courses.
Will and Rudi’s best result came in the ‘Snooker’ run (a part of the Games section). Will and Rudi had never previously run a Snooker course in competition at any level but managed to finish in a very creditable 10th place at the World Championships. Two other runs gave finishes in the top 25.
At the start of the closing ceremony, the junior results (handlers under 19 years of age)were announced. Will and Rudi finished in a very creditable 6th place - this was the highest placed British pairing at medium height. Two eliminations in jumping rounds during the competition cost them a place on the podium, but they can be very satisfied with some stunning rounds at their first ever World Championships.
This month the pair will be representing Great Britain in the World Junior Open Agility World Championships in Finland.
This event is for junior handlers only where the competition will be just as tough- We will let you know how they get on!
Will has been competing in regular high level competition at home (including picking up a fourth Crufts title with Rudi in March) and all of the qualifying and selection events for both the Scotland and Great Britain agility teams whilst preparing for his GCSEs this summer.