One girl and her dog

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A girl from Oban and her collie trounced all the adults at a dog agility show this month, winning five first prizes in only her second ever competition.

Rachel Carre, a 12-year-old pupil at Lochnell Primary School, who is just about to move up to Oban High School, emerged victorious with her three year-old Border collie Gem, at the Prestwick Show at Rozelle Park in Ayr.

Rachel, whose parents are both Oban vets, said: ‘I felt amazing, something I had never felt before and I was so proud of myself and my dog Gem.’

Rachel Carre and Gem won five first prizes, a second, and a fifth
Rachel Carre and Gem won five first prizes, a second, and a fifth.

Her mum, Alison, said: ‘We are all very proud of Rachel and Gem. It was lovely to see her hard work and commitment pay off. They had gone to the competition for experience and to help Gem get used to the environment, not expecting to do so well. It was Rachel’s birthday, so probably the best present.

‘Rachel loves dogs and sport, so this is the perfect activity for her. She works really hard, is very focused and has a great attitude to competitive sport. If things go wrong it makes her twice as determined to do better next time.

‘Rachel is also an active swimmer with Oban Otters, competes in triathlon whenever she can, plus Gem and Rachel can regularly be found at the Park Run on a Saturday morning. Rachel is very keen to continue their success and has high hopes for the future.’

Their ‘very supportive and enthusiastic trainer’, Jessica Campbell, said: ‘They have trained with me at Jessica’s Pawsitive Dog Training for the past two years and I am very proud of their achievements.

‘There were 1,000 dogs. It is a very busy environment for a child to go into. I knew she had the ability, but it is just keeping the nerves under control. She was as cool as a cucumber.

‘Gem is a very talented little dog. She listens to Rachel. She is very focused on the job. Your dog has to learn to ignore all the exciting things going on. When she is finished she gets her ball. That is her prize, then she will chill out.

‘They have high hopes for the future and Rachel hopes to qualify for Crufts one day with Gem.’