Dog lover, Trixie, gets back to agility competing thanks to her TGA Supersport
Trixie Gillard, 70 from Yeovil, has spent over 20 years training and competing in dog agility. But when she started experiencing restricted mobility, it meant she needed something to help her get back to doing what she loved.
But now, her TGA Supersport lets her get around and provides all the power and traction she needs to drive on grass and mud.
Trixie depends on her scooter for mobility as she lives independently with her four dogs Seamus, Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby. Her three generations of Working Strain Golden Retrievers are Trixie’s pride and joy and without her Supersport she would not be able to walk them or compete. Trixie explains: “I use my Supersport as I have osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia, so a lot of pain and exhaustion to contend with. Plus, an acute back injury which means I can’t stand for very long. I used to compete on my feet but that would be impossible now, thank goodness I can with my Supersport.”
Trixie competes in around 20 competitions annually with her Supersport. She has competed in many prestigious ranking events including a third place, with Sapphire, at the Para Agility World Championships. Trixie explains: “I still get a buzz from competing and my dogs love it. I’m originally from the ‘horse world’ and use my experience of riding courses to improve our times especially as directing a dog is more challenging than controlling a horse! My scooter has to be able to respond and turn accurately which is so important otherwise you can easily put your dog off, resulting in time penalties. Competitions are always long days commonly from 8am until 5pm so I would never be able to cope without my Superport.”
She adds: “I compete all year with able bodied competitors and they have got used to seeing me on the Supersport. There are several of us in the UK using scooters or wheelchairs and we have shown we can hold our own in this very competitive sport. I find the TGA Supersport the best vehicle for me as it has a very good turning circle which is so important over a twisty course and it has a good speed.”
Trixie first tried a mobility scooter at Blenheim Palace thanks to the hire service provided by Event Mobility. In partnership with TGA, Event Mobility is a respected charity which offers TGA mobility scooters at outdoor events such as Badminton Horse Trials, the British Grand Prix and the Game Fair. She also gained knowledge regarding the best off-road scooters, such as the Supersport, through joining the Disabled Ramblers on several rambles. Away from training and competing, Trixie uses the Supersport every day to walk her dogs along rural track and trails. Accessing Yeovil is also straightforward with a 10-minute drive to town so Trixie doesn’t need her van or to worry about parking.
Trixie concludes: “My Supersport, Sapphire and I will be next competing at Dashing Dogs in Ilchester in a few weeks. Dog agility will continue to be a huge part of my life thanks to my scooter however my current eighth pup will be the last I train. So many people still comment on my Supersport as it really is an attention grabber. I’ve even had bikers pull up alongside me commenting on how fantastic my machine looks. It has the best turning circle I have ever come across in a scooter which is essential for the tight twists and turns in dog agility. When not in the arena training or competing, I can walk all four dogs on my scooter no problem and when pup Ruby gets tired, she jumps on the footplate. I simply couldn’t fulfil my life without a Supersport.”