A team of racing Cambridgeshire canines is going from strength to strength after competing in an international tournament and receiving a top award.

The Cambridgeshire Flyball Team, which trains in Chatteris, was set up 15 years ago and is now one of the UK’s most successful clubs of its type.

The team was selected as one of just four from the UK Flyball League to compete in last year’s Flyball Open World Cup in Belgium, and was also named as the league’s 'team of the year'.

Flyball is a relay race specifically for teams of dogs in which they sprint along a 51ft long course, including a series of four jumps, to retrieve a ball attached to a box at the end.

The dogs grab the ball, turn around and race back to the start to release the next runner in their team.

Team spokesperson Ellen Schofield said: “Flyball is great fun, it is addictive - in fact it takes over your life.

“It might sound straightforward but it is super technical, tactical and exciting.

“When we started out 15 years ago our record time was 24 seconds. It’s now 14.7 seconds and that means our top team is competing in the highest division in the country.”

Wisbech Standard: Cambridgeshire Flyball Team, which trains in Chatteris, is impressing on the world stage.Cambridgeshire Flyball Team, which trains in Chatteris, is impressing on the world stage. (Image: R & Co Communications)

The team has been helped by ongoing support from veterinary referral centre Dick White Referrals in Six Mile Bottom.

The centre has backed the team by funding new equipment for its practice courses and by providing veterinary bandage wraps to be used to protect the dogs’ paws while racing.

Ellen said: “We’re very lucky to have superb support from Dick White Referrals – they have helped us to buy new flyball boxes and have given us wraps to protect the paws of the dogs as they sprint, jump and brake so dramatically while racing.”

The club is currently at capacity, with nine teams competing in various national divisions.

Training is intense as the team starts training puppies when they are eight to 10 weeks old and its top dogs take part in up to 10 hours of training a week to help them to reach their impressive speeds.

Simon Tappin, clinical director at Dick White Referrals, said: “It’s wonderful to see the team representing Cambridgeshire on the world stage at the very highest level of flyball competition, and we’re pleased that we can help them by offering our ongoing support.”