A 14-YEAR-OLD dog trainer has had thousands of pounds worth of equipment stolen just days after being selected to represent Team GB in a major overseas competition.

Thieves looted the field opposite the Harwell Campus where Rory Tidmarsh, from Aston Upthorpe near Wallingford, practices agility courses with his Border Collie Sonic on Thursday night.

They made off with a set of blue and white fences, ladders and tunnels, which are worth around £3,000.

His mother Joanna Tidmarsh realised the equipment was missing when she went to the field on Friday morning.

The 46-year-old said: “Everything was gone. It’s out of the way so they would have had to know what they were looking for.

“I’m trying to spread the word as much as possible, especially within the local dog training community, because it is quite specialised equipment.

“We specifically chose plastic fences because we knew the aluminium ones would have value for scrap metal.”

Earlier in the week Rory had been celebrating being selected for the European Open Junior Agility Championships, which will be held in the Netherlands in July.

It will be his third time competing in the championships and last year the Wallingford School pupil picked up a silver medal in the large dog category of the individual children’s jumping round as well as a bronze team medal.

He said: "I'm annoyed that it's gone because I need the equipment to train properly for the competition."

Mrs Tidmarsh added: “This isn’t the kind of training you can do in the back garden. It’s really important that Rory is able to train with the right equipment that is the same as the courses he will face in the competition and he’s out there twice a week at the moment, which will increase when the weather gets better."

Rory has been training dogs since he was eight after being inspired by his mother's own dog training and also trains with Wallingford Dog Training Club several times a week.

She said: "He enjoys the challenge of teaching Sonic new skills. This is the last thing he needs after all his hard work."

Police confirmed the theft was reported to them on Friday and they are appealing for help to track down those responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 43180072248.