From August 18 to 21, Audrey Venturi and his dogOddy, will take part in the handicap world championships agility in the north of italy. A discipline discovered by chance, which has become a passion that looks like a nice revenge on life for the young ajaccian.
When we met her in February 2020, Audrey Venturi, a young 24-year-old motor disabled person, had just learned that she had been selected for the French Handi-Agility Team in order to participate in the world championships the following summer.
READ ALSO: VIDEO. Agility, a sport of complicity between the master and his dog
The Covid-19 pandemic passing through there, the event was canceled.
Initially planned in Switzerland, on 19e the World Handi-Agility Championship is being held this year in Italy. It’s on the side of Voghera that serious things begin for Audrey and her dog who have been waiting for two years now to be able to gauge themselves against the best duos in the discipline represented across eleven countries.
The young woman, the only Corsican agility trainer to join the national team, presents her dog over 60cm high obstacles in the “Motorized Handi 1” category. Seven other tricolors accompany him on this adventure.
Discovered by chance seven years ago, agility has become a real passion for Audrey and occupies an important place in her life. This discipline has more and more followers with no less than 12,000 licensees this year in France.
“Originally, it was only to educate my dog, a Chihuahua, I called on a dog trainer who helped me with the training” Audrey recalls. This meeting with Laura Luciani, his current coach, will change his daily life somewhat. “Afterwards she spoke to me about agility, and I immediately asked her about my handicap. I did not think I could practice this discipline with my medical scooter. Laura, she was immediately ready ”. This is how Audrey’s beautiful story began.
Oddy, from abandonment to competition
Always accompanied by Stéphanie, her mother who also took to the game, Audrey began competing during the few events organized on the island.
It is when the young woman crosses paths with Oddy, an abandoned border collie, that things will take a different turn. “This dog is incredible, he is very intelligent and understands very quickly, once our duo was formed we were able to participate in slightly larger competitions” explains Audrey. With Oddy, the young woman turns a corner and really discovers the world of competition. Courses higher, more complex, faster and against better opponents.
As Corsica offers very few events in this discipline, Audrey gets into the habit of going regularly to the continent to continue her progress. And it was during an internship with the coach of the France Handi team, in Périgueux, that the Ajaccienne and her dog were spotted. “Some captains of the French team felt that we formed a good pair with Oddy, they consulted with the coach and wanted to see more to form an opinion. For several weeks, they followed our training through videos and finally found that it would be interesting for me to join the team. says Audrey. Thereafter, she will learn, with surprise, her participation in the world championships.
READ ALSO: VIDEO. Audrey Venturi and Oddy heading to the Handi Agility Worlds
“Now participating in such an event is a goal, yes, but when I started I didn’t think it could happen at all. I didn’t think of that at all. Of course, when it was offered to me, I took my chance. But at the beginning I only wanted to practice an activity and create complicity with my dog. Disappointed at the start of the cancellation of the competition for health reasons, Audrey took advantage of these two additional years to try to be as efficient as possible.
Every day she trains hard to improve for the deadline. Two sessions a week with her coach on the facilities of the Athléti’Dogs canine club, based in Afa, and almost daily training at home, in her garden, on the course of a dozen obstacles that Stéphanie has set up to her daughter.
“Oddy must learn a lot of orders, especially since he almost only obeys the voice because Audrey cannot accompany him with his movements as able-bodied people do, explains Stephanie. I try, at my level, to give him advice, to help him refine certain details. Precious seconds can be gained depending on how the obstacle is approached, and at world championships that can make the difference. Audrey spent some time working with a speech therapist to improve her diction, to be faster and more accurate with her dog. »
In the home stretch, a few days from going to northern Italy, Audrey is proud of the path she has already traveled. “I’m disabled, yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay at home doing nothing. I needed to practice an activity”