Sumo wins medal at world champs

2019-05-15 06:00
Roché Compaan and Sumo came third overall at the IFCS World Agility Champs in the Netherlands.    photo:SUPPLIED

Roché Compaan and Sumo came third overall at the IFCS World Agility Champs in the Netherlands. photo:SUPPLIED

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ROCHÉ Compaan from Port Elizabeth and his furry friend, Sumo, represented the South Africa Dog Agility Association (SADAA), for the third year in a row, at the IFCS World Agility Championships in the Netherlands recently.

Roché and Sumo ended in third place in the overall standings, sharing the podium with two Russians. They made history by winning two bronze medals, adding to the silver medal they won in 2017 in Spain.

According to Roché, they are the first South African handler and dog combination to win medals at multiple world championship events.

Sumo is a seven-year-old staffie/ Jack Russell terrier cross, and Roché started training him in agility when he was 10 months old. In 2015 Sumo won the SA Championships under the Kennel Union of South Africa, and he continued his road to success by winning the national title two out of three times over the past three years under SADAA.

In 2018, Sumo became an elite champion, a title shared by only seven other dogs in the history of SADAA.

“Sumo’s desire to please and his willingness to work combined with his incredible ability to learn quickly and focus in high-pressure competitive environments has made him the champion that he is,” Roché said.

He added that he uses only positive reinforcement-based training and believes that training and competing should always be a fun-filled game for the dog.

“I have gone to great lengths to train with the best in the world, including past world champions, to ensure that Sumo and I can be competitive internationally.”

The duo puts put their knowledge and energy back into the local community and give training workshops to dog lovers that want to learn how to become agility handlers and trainers.

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