A Monmouth schoolboy has joined forces with his new hound to win a World sporting title in Poland.
Teenager Rowan Saxton triumphed alongside his pet, Vrank, while representing Great Britain, in the Junior Men’s category at the International Canicross Federation’s World Championships.
Rowan, a Year 11 pupil at Monmouth School for Boys, was a clear winner in the 15 to 19 age section, storming to victory 40 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Sixteen-year-old Rowan won the title after a hard-fought battle against competitors from Russia, Germany, France and Belgium.
Rowan and his sidekick Vrank, who hails from Holland, were also selected for GB A team in the elite men’s relay event and won the first leg from a mass start to help the team to a bronze medal.
Rowan has enjoyed a host of European title triumphs since he started competing in 2010, initially with his kelpie cross, Henry, who has now retired from the sport.
Canicross is a cross-country running sport in which participants wear a waistbelt that attaches via a two-metre bungee line to a padded dog harness.
The sport is popular in Europe, where it is used to train dog-sled teams and it is growing quickly in the UK with weekly competitions taking place across the country.