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Cape Tormentine local headed to World Agility Open Championship 2023

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Ways to support:

1. Donate to the gofundme campaign or;

2. eTransfer to the corporation by emailing funds directly to:

3. Visit the facebook event page to learn about the online auction and other initiatives

4. Attend the in-person fundraiser April 1st, 2023 at the Cape Tormentine Legion

All funds will go directory to Courtney to help support the costs of her attendance at the World Agility Open Championship. We intend to raise $5500 before she travels May 2023 with her dog Elsie to the Netherlands. Elsie is a service dog from P.E.I who has helped Courtenay cope and thrive after being diagnosed with a tumour that causes seizures. Together they are overcoming obstacles literally and figuratively and making their community proud!

About Courtney Watson

Courtney is 28 years old and one of only two members of Canada's National team competing in this event who lives in the Maritimes. She was raised right here in Cape Tormentine!

Growing up, those who knew her recognized her special bond with animals. Her love of agility and training animals started early. She began setting up obstacle courses and jumps for her rabbits when she was just eight years old!

Eventually, she began training and showing horses, locals may remember those horses in the Cape Tormentine Canada Day parade.

When her dog Elsie, a miniature American Shepherd turned one and a half she began training. Starting with jumps, they worked on other agility skills including tunnels, teeter-totters, ramps and pole running maneuvers. Developing these skills requires both humans and canines to demonstrate serious commitment. Training together multiple times daily and moving inside to a rented area when the weather becomes unfavorable. Together Courtney and Elsie have demonstrated not only a real commitment to developing the skills required to compete at a high level but also the strength to overcome adversity.

In 2016, Courtney was at another agility competition when she collapsed in the ring, the result of a massive seizure. Multiple tests determined that at the age of just 22, Courtney had a benign brain tumor. She ended up being diagnosed with epilepsy.

In Her Own Words

"Getting the news of that diagnosis when I was so young and healthy was shattering for me. I had to take some time to accept the diagnosis and every time I'd have a seizure, my dog Elsie would alert me before they happened, so I could find a safe place to lay down and not hit my head. Elsie has saved my life numerous times, always ensuring that I am on my side, and she will lay behind my back so I can't roll on to my back and potentially choke on vomit. She is my lifeline".

Moving Forward

With the help of medication, Courtney’s condition is now managed and she has been able to get back to regular life working at the pharmacy and training her six dogs for competitions.

The 2022 Canadian Open was held in Saint John, New Brunswick. This was the national championship and qualifying event for the upcoming World Agility Open Championships.

Courtney explains, "Elsie was absolutely amazing at the national championship and she tried so hard and listened so well. I could not ask for a better partner. She finished the weekend with a silver medal in speedstakes and is the 2022 National Champion in biathlon (1 round agility, 1 round jumping). She was the only dog in all the Maritimes to get a 'win on' spot to represent Team Canada at The World Championships."

This year's championship takes place from May 17-21. The event will be live-streamed on YouTube so we can watch and cheer on Courtney and team Canada. Please consider donating today to make sure she gets there!

Thank you for your support and congratulations Courtney from the Cape Tormentine Community Development Corporation (CTCDC) and The Beacon Of The East (CTCDC Special Projects)

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