Julie Thomson, 53, from Stansted, who has Multiple Sclerosis, successfully displayed her dog agility prowess on her amazing TGA Breeze 3 mobility scooter at Ace Agility's fundraising event for the MS Society on Easter Sunday, helping to raise over 1,200.
Featured in the East Anglian press and on BBC Radio Suffolk, the event was held at Braggons Farm, Glemsford, Suffolk and was attended by over 120 locals and dog owners. They witnessed over 40 dogs and their owners practising their skills around a dog agility course, including Julie Thomson, who uses a TGA Breeze mobility scooter to negotiate the agility equipment whilst directing her 4-year-old Patterdale Terrier, Dodger.
Julie is a retired nurse with a lively personality who was diagnosed with MS in 1998. She trained as a nurse at Guy's Hospital in London and later became the Nurse Practitioner in Urology at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St. Edmunds. As her mobility became more restricted, she decided to use a mobility scooter, but it was not until she owned a robust and rugged TGA Breeze 3 that she was able to tackle a wider variety of ground conditions and consider taking up dog agility.
Organised by Ace Agility dog trainer, Jacqui Wood, the event has already raised over 1,200 for the MS Society's Challenge60 fundraising campaign in celebration of the charity's 60th anniversary. Despite the cold weather, a healthy number of people came to see Julie and Dodger in action, along with 10-year-old Fred and 'JJ' the Border Collie, who will soon be appearing together on CBBC's TV programme 'Who Let The Dogs Out?' The dog agility demonstration also included a special moment when Roxy, a little five-month old Westie-poodle puppy, ran a beginners' agility course alongside Julie on her TGA mobility scooter.
Julie comments: "I would like to thank everyone who attended, donated and sponsored this special event, it was a great day all round! A special thank you should go to the sponsoring companies, including TGA, who supplied my amazing mobility scooter and helped us raise press awareness, together with fidofoto for taking the photographs and Braggon's Farm for providing the location. During our turn on the dog agility course, Dodger was an absolute star, only losing his stride once when I accidentally dropped his container of reward sausages! He especially showed off his speed through the weaves and over the dog walk. My TGA Breeze 3 was universally admired for its versatility and its manoeuvrability around the dog agility equipment, and Dodger was praised for his nippy ability to avoid the wheels."
Julie continues, "I've used a mobility scooter for a long time, but I wasn't lucky enough to get a versatile Breeze 3 from TGA in Sudbury until 2007. It's six years old now, and has done about 1,000 miles a year, but is still going strong! The Breeze 3's large wheels and slender front end make it ideal for tackling an outdoor dog agility course. Its handling, its power and, in particular, its suspension mean that it can cope with all kinds of terrain, making it the ideal mobility scooter for dog agility. When I'm not at Ace Agility, Dodger and I enjoy the beautiful public footpaths around Suffolk on my TGA Breeze 3 - often tackling very rough ground, especially in winter. As it has been such a superb machine, I am thinking of replacing my old Breeze with the latest model the Breeze S3, which I've heard it is even better in terms of performance and comfort. I would recommend a TGA mobility scooter to anyone living with restricted mobility who wants to enjoy the outdoors independently."
Donations can be made to the MS Society in conjunction with this event on the just giving website.
Julie can be seen in action on her TGA Breeze 3 mobility scooter on YouTube