Anna Savolainen – Team Leader
I’m Anna Savolainen and come from Central Finland. For my job, I’m the sales director at an insurance company. My family includes my husband, my son, border collie Venla and japanese spitz Minttu.
I have practiced rally obedience with four of my dogs, even before the sport became official in Finland in 2014. Three of my dogs are Finnish and Swedish Rally Champions. The biggest rally achievements are with my late border collie Pipsa, we got team gold and personal 4th in Nordic-rally Denmark 2019 and team bronze and personal 5th in Finnish Championships 2020.
I think it is awesome to get on a trip as a team leader, now second time. Finland has a great team! It makes me happy to help them succeed in the competition. I want to help everyone to do their best. I think we’re all going to have a great journey, at least I’m doing my best for it.
Eva-Lotta Halonen & Vimma
Merits: I got 4th and 5th place with my two border collies in ranking competition for nordic rally obedience championship in year 2022. Vimma is an amazing 3,5 years old border collie bitch.
Anna Koski & Pirre
I live in Lahti with my husband, daughter, and three tollers. Pirre is a middle one of the dogs and is 7 years old. We have a wide variety of hobbies in addition to rally obedience, like obedience, blood tracking, gundog training, and rescue dog training in water and on land. I think that doing these other sports also has prevented things from going too serious and kept the fun and easiness in our rally obedience training.
Pirre is quick to learn, easy to motivate, eager to work and withstands repetitions well. But she is also independent and she has a strong-willed mind. So training with Pirre is never boring.
Nina Manner & Kurko
I live in southern Finland with my partner. We have 4 bordercollies and 1 rough collie. I do dog training for living and enjoy working with different type of dogs. I want to see happy and relaxed dogs who are willing to work for their handler. With my own dogs I compete also in obedience, working dog trials and agility at the moment. I love competing in big competitions and I’m at my best in competitions. I love hiking and spending time in the nature with my dogs.
Kurko is very calm, modest and easy dog in everyday life and he loves everybody. When working he is like a different dog. He is a very intense, powerful and happy and always gives his everything. He is not the easiest dog to handle but I just love his attitude and willingness to work. I have had 2 rally obedience champions before but Kurko has been competing in highest class less than a year.
Marika Ruottinen & Maissi
I am an animal physiotherapist and I live in Nokia with my two Labrador retrievers. My free time is mostly spent with my dogs in various activities. I also do hunting where dogs act as a big help.
I have had dogs for 21 years. My goal is to achieve good cooperation and trust with the dog. Over the years I have also taken an interest to search and rescue dog training, agility, obedience, retrievers’ field trail and blood tracking.
Maissi is the dog of my life. She is an age of just under 7 years now. Since she was a puppy, Maissi has been very contact-seeking and eager to work, always listening very closely to the tips given. Maissi is now representing Finland for the third time in the Rally Obedience Nordic Championships. Maissi won the gold medal in year 2019 and the bronze medal in 2021 from the individual competition. In both years we won also gold medal in Team Finland. Maissi is a Finnish rally obedience champion and has twice won silver medal at the Finnish rally obedience Championships. Maissi loves hunting above all else. Due to the rally obedience competitions I have had to leave Maissi out of the hunt for several years now. This Nordic championship is the last rally obedience competition for Maissi, because in the future we will focus on what she loves most.
Oona Tuormaa & Wau
I live in Central Finland with my spouse and three children and several dogs. I have a dog sport centre that I run and where I coach obedience and rally-obedience. Both my work and hobbies revolve around dogs and dogsports. Wau is a calm and obedient worker who always does her best. She doesn’t get wound up easily and she loves to heel. Wau is going a second time to the Nordic team and I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring with her. Wau is a Finnish champion in obedience and rally-obedience. I’ve competed in rally with six dogs, of which three were my own dogs and three have been loaned for competing. As a handle, I enjoy the changing challenges in rally; I like how the sport demands precision and good timing in handling and being able to react quickly.
Eija Heinonen & Ossi (Reserve)
I live in Central Ostrobothnia on the west coast with my 2 Belgianshepherds malinois Ossi and laekenois Micro.
I am a perfectionist in dogtraining and I want to be a perfect handler for my dogs, as a human being mistakes are made so training never ends.
Ossi is 8 years, friendly to everyone, tireless and easily motivated. When training with it, the most important thing is to take care of the criteria and a sufficient amount of versatile training. Ossi is at its best in rally obedience and only when controlled with gestures.
Siiri Virtanen & Didi (Reserve)
My life revolves around dogs mostly, I have three of them and I also work with them. My personal dogs are a 5 years old rescue dog, whose main job is to be a lesson example and helper dog, 3 years old whippet Didi who is here at the team and a about six months old future prospect whippet puppy Rada.
I run a dog training facility, so my main job is to coach other handlers and their dogs. I love to work with different couples, what comes to dogs breed and personalities, but also handlers qualities. In my own training I also think a lot about dogs’ personal capability, personality and qualities when I’m making a training plan. I like trying out new sports and training methods, It’s always fun to learn more and find new ways to teach the dogs some skills.
Didi is a first whippet in Finland who has reached rally-obedience champion title. She’s quite a fierce bitch, always ready to work and try her best. At home Didi loves to sleep under the blankets like any other whippet, but when she has a chance to work she’s ready and active.