Grassington woman takes European canine cross country crown

Canine cross country European veteran champion Jenny Smalley with her dog Cai

Canine cross country European veteran champion Jenny Smalley with her dog Cai

First published in News

Yorkshire claimed another gold medalist when retired teacher Jenny Smalley triumphed in the unusual sport of canine cross country.

CaniX events involve races where competitors run with their dogs.

Jenny, of Grassington, won the women’s veteran class in the European championships held at Cirencester.

But by her side on that day was not her usual companion, Cai, a border collie, but an Alsatian bitch by the name of Shebah as Cai was under the weather on the day of the competition.

“Cai runs the hills with me all the time – he loves it. But he was not very well at the time of the championship so I was disappointed not to be running with him,” said Jenny, who when competing is tethered to Cai by a special harness which allows her to run hands- free.

“I’ve been entering races for a number of years and done reasonable well,” she added.

“The championship was judged over two races – one four kilometers and another six kilometers – and the times added together, and the quickest over the two stages was the winner.”

When she’s not out with Cai, she also enjoys cycling and is an active member of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

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