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A SMART New Event for Agility Dogs

Starting in July, there will be a new national jumping cup competition called LOW 550 for handlers wishing to compete in a prestigious qualifier at the same height as the Lower Height Option at Kennel Club Agility tests.  Sponsored by the internationally renowned SMART (Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy) Clinic, this special event is open to all dogs in the Large height category (i.e. measuring over 430mm at the withers) with hurdles set at 550mm.


Introducing LOW 550 Final 2017 Judge... Stuart Harmes

Stuart Harmes has been involved with Agility for 25 years.  He has competed at all major events in the UK and reached Championship level with all of his dogs, winning major titles such as Crufts Singles, and Reserve in both the Crufts International and at Olympia along the way.  Currently Manager of Team Wales, Stuart is an experienced trainer and, along with his wife Ann, offers top level training, workshops and events based at their indoor centre at Camdwwr Canine in Denbeighshire.

Stuart has also been a Judge for more than 20 years, judging many major finals, and for the past five years has been a well respected Kennel Club Championship Judge.  He is renowned for his large, fast flowing style of course design and has enjoyed seeing the introduction of more 'European style' courses in recent times.

Stuart says 'As a passionate supporter of the introduction of a 4th Height in KC agility, I am grateful to the sponsors and organisers for supporting this event. Iím thrilled to have been asked to Judge this Final and wish all the finalists the very best of luck.'

The LOW 550 National Jumping Cup Final 2017 will take place on Saturday, 2nd September at Prestbury Park Premier Agility Show at Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire.

Sponsors SMART Clinic are continuing to support LOW 550 for a further year. Look out for details of heats for the 2018 Final coming soon!

 For more details and event rules, go to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/low550/ Email: fourth_height@yahoo.co.uk

2017 News

There will be 10 qualifying heats held around the country, each one split into two parts for Combined Grades 1-4 and Combined Grades 5-7.  The top two dogs and handlers from each part will qualify for a similarly split Final, taking place at Prestbury Park Championship and Premier Agility Show in September 2017, at the picturesque Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire.

The first four qualifying heats will take place at the shows below for the 2017 Final. The rest will take place in 2017




23-25 July  The Agility Club Open & Championship Agility Show

South of England Showground, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex  RH17 6TL

3-4 September

Prestbury Park DATC Championship & Premier Agility Show Cirencester Park, Gloucestershire GL7 6JT
10-11 September Tenterden Magic Open Show

Winters Court Farm, Ashford, Bethersden, Kent TN26 3DQ

24-25 September Suffolk Five Rivers DTC Open Show

Trinity Park, Ipswich IP3 8UH

Ssshhhh, here's a sneaky peek at one of the fabulous bespoke LOW 550 rosettes, all ready to be packaged up, and hand-made.

For more details and event rules see: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/low550  Website: http://areyou4it.org.uk

About SMART Clinic
The first SMART Clinic was set up in Swansea in 2004 by Lowri Davies, who is currently President of the British Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Society, and a second clinic was established in Cardiff in 2008.  Agility dogs now account for approximately half their case load. Lowri sat on the Kennel Clubís Activities Health and Welfare Sub Group and has been one of the key personnel involved in the research into dogs jumping.   In January 2016, she joined an elite group of European Veterinary Surgeons formally recognised as specialists in the field of sports medicine and veterinary rehabilitation by being successful in her American Board exams and is now a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. With their special interest in agility dogs and promoting agility as a sport, SMART Clinic are delighted to be able to support the LOW 550 national jumping cup to help make it accessible to more dogs.

The clinics have gained an international reputation in the field of veterinary rehabilitation and staff are called upon to lecture both within the UK and throughout the world. Their veterinary surgeons and chartered physiotherapists will design a program to address each patientís individual requirements and return them to an active life as quickly as possible.  Whether a pet is recovering from surgery; underperforming in sporting disciplines such as agility, obedience or sheep dog trialling; or unable to exercise due to conditions such as arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia or spinal disease, the program will be developed to improve movement and reduce pain. Nurses and support staff also provide a free consultation service on nutrition and weight management.  Just as importantly, they will advise on how to keep pets happy and entertained during periods of reduced activity. Both clinics are easily accessible from the M4 motorway affording easy access to clients from the whole of the UK. 

See more on the SMART Clinic website http://smartvetwales.co.uk/


  • The LOW 550 heats and Final MAY consist of hurdles set at 550mm, pipe tunnels, weaves and long jump (set at KC minimum length for Large dogs of 1.2m) only.
  • The LOW 550 is open to all grades of dog measuring over 430mm at the withers.
  • Each heat will be split into two parts for Combined Grades 1-4 and Combined Grades 5-7.  All dogs will run over the same course and shows have the option of running the parts together or separately.
  • Competitors entering the competition are deemed to have agreed to abide by the rules and regulations of the host club.
  • Competitors may enter more than one dog in a heat and qualify more than one dog for the Final.
  • Qualifiers may enter further heats for competition, providing they are eligible.
  • Handlers who gain a place in a heat with a previously qualified dog should inform the Show Secretary on the day of the show.
  • In the event of a dog qualifying more than once for the Final, or a handler being unable to attend the final, reserves may be invited. 
  • Trophies for 1st and 2nd places in both parts of each heat.
  • Rosettes to 10th place in both parts of each heat.
  • Trophy for Best Junior in each heat, awarded by Tick Tock the 4th Height Dog to the highest placed (or least faults and fastest time over both parts) junior handler aged 6-14 years on the date of the show.
  • The LOW 550 for the 2017 final will consist of 10 heats held at agility shows around the country.
  • Final.  The top 2 dogs and handlers from each part of the 10 heats will be invited to compete at the Final at Prestbury Park DATC Championship and Premier Show held at Cirencester Park, Gloucestershire GL7 6JT in September 2017. This will also be split into two similar parts, run over the same course, with separate results.  Special award at the Final for the Best Rescue dog, awarded by Fun with Fido.