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Senior Agility League Winners

 

 

 

Older and wiser...

Next time you're beaten by someone with grey or greying hair, look again. It might be one of the winners of the 2012 Senior Agility League (SAL). Together they've racked up an amazing 44,342 points. They are amongst the best of the best handlers over the age of 55 and represent every size of dog. We've asked them to tell us a little about themselves, their dogs and what motivates them to go on and on and on...

To find out more about SAL click here.

Kate Abbott
2nd Diamond - Medium
Points: 94

Dog: Tessa's Fortune (Tess)
Breed: Crossbreed
Age: Approx 9 Years

 

 

 

 

How often do you train and where?
We train at Mid Downs Agility Club in Burstow, Surrey, once a week on a Tuesday evening.

How and when did you start Agility?
It's difficult to remember when I started doing Agility it was with my previous rescue dog, Barney, a Staffie X. I was a veterinary nurse and he was brought in in a very bad condition as a three month old puppy. I helped nurse him back to health and ended up keeping him. A client of ours suggested I had a go at Agility and the rest is history. We got to Crufts three times. It must have been around 1993 when I first went to training. When I lost Barney, we rescued Taffy (JRT) who also did reasonably well in Agility and then I rescued Tess.

How did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I suppose I got hooked when Barney started winning around 1995.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I think my greatest moment was when Barney won a very fiercely fought Circular Knock Out, the first time I qualified for Crufts.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Tess has always been an extremely stressed dog, probably due to her previous experiences before she was brought over from Ireland. She is very scared of other dogs and any strange noises she may hear, but absolutely adores people - in excess sometimes. She has been my most difficult dog to train and is still a bit of an unknown when she starts a course. I never know if she's going to go like a 'bat out of hell' over anything in her way or if she's going to go fast but still listening to me and doing a correct course or going over to the judge for a tibbit. Apparently everyone says she's entertaining to watch but not to run! She is a challenge but I love her, and she certainly does keep me very fit!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
To anyone starting Agility... keep going. Don't give up when it all seems to be going nowhere. With all my dogs I've been very tempted at one time or other to give up, not because my dogs have all been a bit hyper but because people not connected with Agility said I should. It made me dig my heels in and persevere! Agility is for all ages and, if I can do it and still get some good results, anyone can.

Sue Batley
 3rd Gold - Small
Points: 1503

Dog: Bundle of Mischief (Dottie)
Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel
Age: 3 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you train and where?
Training varies according to the weather. From October to March, I train indoors with three different clubs. My main club is Coltishall Agility Club. The others are Norfolk DTC and Longwater Club, all on the Norfolk borders. From March to September, I train outside as I am lucky enough to have the use of a paddock with my equipment in it, although I still train with Helen Anderson and Claire Arend at Coltishall Club.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility in 2003 with a three year old Border Collie called Billie Blue Light. He was a farm rescue dog, age five months when I got him. He was highly intelligent but had lots of problems. After I 'tamed' him so I could take him out to socialise a bit, I decided I needed help from a behaviourist. That's when I met Linda Kightley who'd done Agility. She said it would help. That's how I started, private lessons in a little paddock.

How did you know you were hooked on Agility?
Ha ha, so many answers to this one. Being eager to train in all weathers came first, then going to Inter-clubs, then entering shows when I said I was never going to compete, driving over two hours to shows, followed by the purchase of a caravan , lots of weekends away, three hours towing and week long shows and the arrival of a second dog and then a third dog. Yes, that's when I realised I must be hooked on Agility.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I don't know about one favourite memory ! Probably watching the old 'Boxed Pairs' with my friend Debbie Draper and her dog Todd. The idea of Boxed Pairs was to get two complete laps of the course without faults. If the first dog went wrong on the course, the second dog had to go and start were dog No.1 went wrong, without jumping anything they shouldn't on the way out. If that dog went wrong dog No.1 would have to go out and have a go...and so it continued until the two rounds of the course had been completed or the time that you were allowed ran out. Boxed Pairs was funny, you were not allowed to hold your dog when the other dog was running so there were lots of ins and outs and laughter from those competing and lots of folk watching - we loved it, but we were so boring - we nearly always won the Class as our dogs were so obedient -they always got it right, bless them, but we really enjoyed watching more than taking part. it was great, pity you don't find those classes at shows now...

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Um... she is a Spaniel. No surprises there really. What you see is what she is - slightly mad, over-active, food mad, ball mad, loves Agility. Maybe the fact that she can skip with a skipping rope might surprise some people!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Go straight for the caravan and third dog. No, find yourself a good club, go along to several club training sessions to watch the dogs and people train. It will give you a feeling for the club - the way they train as in 'are the dogs and people enjoying it? Are the people friendly?' We all have to start somewhere and often you find different trainers that you get along with better as you go along, so you change trainers/clubs. Also, you meet lots of new people and find good friends, and that does make a weekend good when you go away to compete as you will find out. Don't take yourself too seriously - you have to be a bit mad and lots of fun to get the best out of most dogs, in whatever dog training you do. Remember - if you aren't enjoying it the dog certainly isn't either.

Jeanette Barton
3rd Ruby - Small
Points: 802

Dog:
The Scruff Master (Scruffy)
Breed: Terrier X
Age:
5 1/2 years

How often do you train and where?
We train about once a week at Cwm Farm, Caerphilly.

How and when did you start Agility?
When I got him from a rescue centre at about seven months old, my daughter suggested that I try Agility with him.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I was hooked within a few weeks.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility? 
One of my favourite memories is getting my first Agility win after nearly two years of trying.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Scruffy loves going to shows. Despite being a Terrier, his stay is always great.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
I would recommend Agility to anyone of any age. Just have fun and enjoy being with your dog.

Peggy Briscoe
2nd Platinum - Small
1057 Points

Dog: Obay Truly Taking a Chance (Timmy)
Breed: Sheltie
Age: 9 years

How often do you train and where?
Since moving to Devon almost three years ago I have trained with Carol Smith although Timmy was mainly trained with Anne Edwards when we lived in West Sussex. I also train at home as I have my own equipment. With my young dog, I train maybe four times a week, weather permitting, for about ten minutes. As they get older, I train them less but I do keep up the foundation work which to them is just play.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started agility with my Golden Retriever Jess. I had been taking her to a puppy class and the trainer who also did agility I thought she would enjoy it.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
 I knew I was hooked after Jess's first run at her first ever show. I had waited in the queue absolutely petrified and quite certain that I would never enter another show and then Jess did a lovely clear round and that was it!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility? 
It's difficult to choose a favourite agility memory but perhaps its of running Timmy at Olympia when we won the pairs with Nicola Garrett and Indiana who is Timmy's half brother. We then came 3rd in the evening final. I love competing, but I think I love training even more because you see the dog achieving more and more as the partnership developes.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Timmy is a lovely dog to work with as he is always so motivated and ready for anything. He always tries his best and would keep going all day, if I let him. He keeps me on my toes as he reacts instantly to my slightest movement, so I have to get my timing absolutely spot on. That is where I often let him down.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
To anyone starting  agility today I would say two things - 1) find a good trainer and 2) beware... agility will take over your life!

Edwina Brown
3rd Gold - Large
Points: 1580

Dog: Dee Voted (Dee.)
Breed: ESD
Age: Approx 4 years

How often do you train and where?
I train once or twice a month at Barnard Castle DTC and regularly at home.

How and when did you start Agility?
I saw Flyball on the television seven years ago, immediately after getting a Collie pup. When my pup was older, I went along to Barnard Castle DTC and started having fun at Flyball. I didn't think Agility was for someone my age or with my lack of dog training skills. It wasn't long before I was persuaded to give it a try. I soon discovered I could have fun at Agility as well so we carried on with it.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I was fairly hooked early on in my training, never missing a session, but I was completely hooked at my first competition when my lad went clear and came 6th.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility? 
There are so many it's hard to find one memory that stands out above the others. If I'm really pushed, I think it has to be winning out of Grade 1 at my second show. I had no idea I could actually be competitive with my dog and I was so proud of my lad.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
D
ee loves to sit and watch Agility. If anyone gets in her way, she remains in the sit but moves her head from side to side to be able to see into the ring. None of my friends have managed to distract Dee whilst she is ringside. Away from Agility, she loves people and wouldn't miss an opportunity for some fuss. She's such a sweet girl and lives up to her KC name - she is so De Voted.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
My advice to anyone starting out would be to find a good club/trainer and be patient and kind to your dog as they are about to embark on a magical journey.

Sue Brunton
2nd Platinum - Medium
Points: 1057

Dog:
Stineval Onslo Wilson at Vimyridge AW/G (Wilson)
Breed: Border Terrier
Age: 6 years

How often do you train and where?
I train o
nce a week with Jayne Widdess at DBDT Dereham (Norfolk) I also attend certain workshops during the year.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility for fun with a dog I was unable to Breed Show in 2000. I saw in our local paper that Chris Smith had won Crufts with her Border Terrier and contacted her to find out about Agility. I was Breed Showing at the time with my other dogs. It wasn't until 2007 when I had retired that I took it more seriously and began to train with any purpose and consistency. So I suppose you can say 2007.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I got hooked on Agility when I realised how much more fun it was than Breed Showing, for me and my dog. My only regret is that I hadn't realised this when I was younger.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
My first clear round, my first placing, my first 1st... there have been so many 'firsts' in the last few years it's difficult to pick my favourite memory but probably my first clear round was.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
I am always amazed at the partnership we have together and he how he responds to and reads my slightest signal and body movement.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
First and foremost have fun with your dog. Be consistent in training and competition and don't worry about climbing the Grades. That will inevitably come with consistency and a great partnership.

 June Burrow
2nd Platinum - Large
Points: 1542

Dog: Glenalco Jump for Joy (Dipper)
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 4 years

How often do you train and where?
I train at Wyre mainly and occasionally at Newton Heath.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility 14 years ago as a fun thing to do
with my first Sheepdog as my vet said he needed to be kept busy. That was in 1995.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I was hooked on Agility after my first session.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I've lots of good memories of Agility, though it was more enjoyable before it got so competitive.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Dipper has lots of quirks. He chases shadows and torches and loves eating dog hair.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today.
I would tell Agility newbies to enjoy their dogs and never to compare them to anyone elses.

 

 

 

Pauline Caddick
1st Diamond - Medium
Points: 692

Dog: Light Showers in the Morning (Kelli)
Breed: Crossbreed
Age: 8 years

How often do you train and where?
I train twice a week with my two younger dogs as well as at home in my garden but not with Kelli.

How and when did you start Agility?
My first dog was born 1987 so after a while started looking for a club (always seemed to have had this on my mind) she was a Mini and there wasn't much going on at that time for them, and that dogs could enter a show at 12 months, so I have been entering ever since. Mitsi was a brill dog to me. I lost her five weeks before her 20th birthday. After entering shows for two years along came Zucci and then two more litter sisters and they were brill ( I wanted Cassi and all kept saying I should have Bonni) I am now on my 13th dog!

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
You could say I have always been hooked!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I can't say its a favourite memory but I always think of my first clear round. In those days there were always two more poles to go through after you finished, making it really another obstacle. After I had done the last jump, I was so thrilled that I picked Mitsi up and was eliminated! Never again.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
I don't really know except when in 2008 Kelli broke one cruciate ligament in the March the other in May so after two operations was told to help her take to the water. Swimming was not her thing! So it was a surprise when she went back to training, gradually doing every jump and by the end of year she was her old self, getting clears etc. 

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today.
To anyone starting out in a Agility, I would say 'it's always the handlers fault - never the dog's . Remember that even when you think you are right!

Jane Cameron
1st Diamond - Large
Points: 1228

Dog: Borderstorm Lincoln Imp (Brigg)
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 4 years old

How often do you train and where?
Brigg trains twice weekly with Lin Bergan at Sunniday and Eleanor Balchin at Pachesham.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility 14 years ago as a fun thing to do with my dog.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
Possibly from the moment I started.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
At a show seeing Roli (who sadly died last August) waiting for me on the A-Frame while I picked myself up after a fall and went over to release him.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Brigg is a somewhat large boy and, arriving at his first puppy training morning, I was told the ponies were in the next field!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today.
Just go and have fun with your dogs. It is a great form of exercise both physically and mentally for both dog and handler.

Shirley Carton
2nd Ruby - Large
Points: 1610

Dog:
Wiccaweys Poppet - Pip
Breed: WSD
Age: 4 years

 

 

How often do you train and where?
Every Monday morning at Grimpits Lane, Kings Norton with Gary Chetwynd, K9 Krackers Agility.

How and when did you start Agility?
I adopted Pip, my first agility7 dog, in September 2009 soon after I retired and started Agility in the Spring of 2010. My daughter had been entering Agility competitions for a few years, and I thought I would like to have a go, just for fun initially.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
Pip showed potential from the start, and by October 2010 I had started entering shows, so I suppose that's when I got hooked!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
The wins and trophies have obviously been great. Pip came 2nd in the Kennel Club Grade 2 awards, won the rescue Grade 2 League and was the top Wiccaweys dog. There have also been times when we have fallen over each other in the ring and when I have forgotten the course!

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Pip was found as a stray, and was taken in by Wiccaweys when her time ran out at the dog warden's. It had taken me six months to persuade my husband to let me have a dog, and we weren't particularly taken with Pip's picture on Wiccaweys website, but we decided to go to see her anyway. We were warned that, as she had been a stray, we would need to be 'hands off' to start with, but she immediately ran up to Peter and jumped all over him! Did she know she had to win him over first? She is a very good and quiet dog at home, but she is very vocal at a show, barking all the way to and around the ring, she enjoys it so much! We are so glad we adopted her - it just shows that you shouldn't go by the 'photos on Rescue websites! 

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
I don't feel qualified to give advice. All I would say is just enjoy it. It's not the end of the world if things don't go according to plan!

Brian Clark
2nd Ruby - Small
Points: 881

Dog:
Scruffmeister (Scruff)
Breed: Border X Patterdale (mostly cross)
Age: She is a and was four on the fifth of Feb this year.

 

 

How often do you train and where?
Our trainer at the moment is Linda Croxford at Whitstable Agility Group. We have also trained with Active Paws under Kevin and Debbie and Swalecliff with Dawn.

How and when did you start Agility?
Scruff is firstly one of our family pets. She was going to be my wife's dog but two days after getting her, my wife Pat needed to go to America for several months and, by the time she returned, Scruff and I had bonded and had started puppy training at Dog Naturally in Ash. It was after puppy training that we realised that Scruff was a dog that needed a lot of stimulation so we joined a six week Agility course with Swalecliff, and the rest is history.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I knew we were hooked on Agility after gaining 2nd place in the Jumping at Paws in the Park 2011. It was our our first competition and the feeling of pride I felt collecting that first rosette will stay with me forever.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I don't have one favourite memory - I have hundreds! Every time in training when we do something that we have never managed before and every competition we run that I feel we have worked as a team, win or lose I have so many fond memories. 

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Scruff can be devil dog, she does not like other small dogs but she loves playing with cats!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Never put pressure on yourself or your dog - winning is nice but having fun and working as a team with your best friend is nicer 

Barry Cowdery
1st Platinum - Medium
Points: 1255

Dog: Lizzie Lopper (Lizzie)
Breed: Crossbreed
Age: 6 years.

How often do you train and where?
We now train twice a week with Wilmslow Dog Training Club.

How and when did you start Agility?
We started out by doing a 'Fun Agility' course whilst Obedience training for the Good Citizens awards.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I knew almost immediately that she and I really enjoyed Agility.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
Not long after I started training with Wilmslow and preparing for my first competition, I found I was unable to run because of a heart condition. Luckily, this was repaired seven months later by the NHS and six months further on from that I competed in my first show. That was Easter 2011 when we won out into Grade 2.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Although Lizzie can be a very wayward dog, she can also be almost an extension of myself.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
I would advise anyone taking up the sport to start their training with a recognised Agility club or instructor.

Nancy Faris
2nd Gold Medium
Points: 902

Dog: Tia Talo Maria (Tia)
Breed: WSD
Age: 6 years

 

 

How often do you train and where?
Tia was attacked by a Labrador this past autumn, so we've not been training. Hope to get the all clear from the physiotherapist this month so we can get back to work with Jayne Widdess at DBDT.

How and when did you start Agility?
Started in about 1998 or 1999. I had been given a Collie (Duffy) by a farmer in Ireland and it became clear early on that we might all go mad if I didn't find something for him to do.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
No one thing, but there are those runs that just feel right, where everything clicks and flows and you know that the two of you have been connected and done the best you can do.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Tia almost got put down at 16 weeks. Luckily, the vet refused and she eventually wound up with me. Also, she is a champion mole catcher!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
The rosettes and trophies and moving up the Grades are all very nice, but try not to get so caught up in all of that lest you forget the real prize is the connection Agility creates between you and your dog.

Sue Gibson
1st Gold Medium
Points: 1560

Dog: Pride of Saratoga (Max)
Breed: Cocker Spaniel
Age: 6 years

 

 

 

How and when did you start Agility?
We started Agility with Dorothy Hill when Max was about nine months old.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
At that time I had no idea how it would take over my life! 2012 was our best ever year. Not only did he win the Gold Medium division of the Senior League, he also came 2nd in the Medium Grade 4 Agility Club League and 2nd in the Grade 4-5 Medium Gundog League. He went from Grade 4 to Grade 6 and gained his Silver Agility Warrant. 

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
My proudest moment was when we gained 5th place in the Novice Cup Semi-final at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival in 2011, beaten to a place in the Crufts final by less than a second. 

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Max is very independent minded and, being a typical Spaniel, his nose and stomach rule his head, so training and competing have at times been very frustrating. I never take anything for granted with Max - it may be too warm. the burger van may be too close, or someone may have dropped biscuits a hundred metres away. We have adopted tortuous routes to rings in an effort to stay up wind and well away from the catering. At other times I have senior moments and forget the course or mess the handling up, but sometimes we both get it right!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Agility has given me a new interest, new friends and new goals to attain, and is something which I share with my daughter Becky. I have found it to be a very friendly sport with help always on hand if needed. People do moan, of course, about various things, but whatever happens the Judge's decision is final and sometimes it is to your advantage and sometimes it isn't. My advice is just enjoy!

Janice E. Harris*
3rd Gold Medium
Points: 877
Dog:
Jimjen Blanche (Perth)
Breed: Beagle
Age: 2 years

My name is I use the "E" as there are two Janice Harris's doing Agility, we are great friends and have a lot of fun causing confusion with our names at shows.

 

 

 

How and when did you start Agility?
I started training for fun / exercise at Tendring Agility Group. I was persuaded to take part in their displays, I was so pleased my Beagles were going round in front of a crowd of people who were thoroughly enjoying their antics. She has helped with training all my Beagles in the early stages of their Agility career, and Mandy-Sue Sarti and Jon Winney at Stonebride Dog Agility Club at Earls Colne have provided me with competition training. I have those three people to thank for where I am today.

How and when did you start Agility?
I was 47 when I started Agility in 2002 quite accidentally. I was at a dog show and saw a local club doing an Agility display. I wanted to give it a try and have never looked back.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
I knew then I was hooked and my friend Sandra took me to an Agility show and I haven't looked back since.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
My two proudest moments are with my older Beagles - one when Zak and I came 2nd in our first Dogs in Need Final, and the other was an Agility picture of Ella in a feature on Beagles in Our Dog magazine.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Perth is my fifth Beagle and, although it has been hard work training her, it has also been very satisfying and great fun. Perth is still young and learning. She is currently Grade 4, but I have a feeling she will provide me with my proudest moment in Agility in the very near future. She is is so intent on doing Agility and not chasing the smells!

Agility is great and I thoroughly enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone. I have more friends now than I ever had. I have to acknowledge that a lot of that is down to the Beagles. They can be very stubborn when they want to be and of course there's always that smell that can pop up out of nowhere! In the early years I was laughed a lot and was very embarrassed when they played up, but as I got more experienced and people got to know me it changed to 'oh it's a Beagle thing' and I laughed with them. I suppose really it is easy to spot me around the rings - they do have a distinctive 'bark' ! It is like being a member of one big family.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
There are definitely a couple of things I think you need in Agility, one is a sense of humour, as it is not always going to go right, and the other is perseverance. I am not saying it has been easy, but it has certainly been a very enjoyable journey that I am glad I have not missed out on. I only wish I had started when I was a lot younger.

Margaret Hudson
3rd Platinum - Large
Points: 1288

Dog: Jaraz Ambition (Voe)
Breed: BSD - Terveuren, a very small one
Age: !0 years

How often do you train and where?
We train together at home and also have our own training group of about 15 people.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility with a Giant Schnauzer nearly fifteen years ago just to give our two giants something to do.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
My Husband and I were soon hooked and added Tervs to the household and we now have four.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
The giants gave us so many happy memories but winning Grade 5 Agility three times between two weekends with Voe aged nine was a really special time.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
My advice to anyone getting involved in Agility is to remember you are the one who knows the course and you have to give clear directions to your dog and if it goes wrong it is your fault. When I am judging I hate to see dogs getting into trouble for their owners lack of directions.

 

 

 

Anne Jones
1st Diamond - Small
Points: 796

[no pic available]

Dog: Jumping Jack Splat
 
Breed: Rescue Crossbreed
Age: 3 1/2 years

 

 

 

 

How often do you train and where?
I train twice a week - once with Helen Brown and another with Tuffley club.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility with a Lab X about 17 years ago. Then I ran a Miniature Brown Poodle called Lucy (Feltre Prima Ballerina) who is now semi-retired at 10 1/2 years old

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
After a few shows, I realised I was hooked.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
My best memory so far is getting a Reserve Champ with Lucy.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
I am amazed that, after the operation Jack had at 12 months old, that he can do Agility and loves it.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
One thing I would advise anyone starting out today is to be prepared for it to take over your life.

Heather Litherland
1st Ruby - Medium
Points: 1988

Dog: Hilbre Orange Pippin
(Pippin aka the Yellow Yard Dog)
Breed: Crossbreed -
Age: 4 years

 

How often do you train and where?
I train with Brian and Rachel Cresswell at Allsorts Agility and also at Clever Dog College near Stoke-on-Trent.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility about five years ago with my Collie Will. I really wish I could have done it a long time ago when I was younger and faster!

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
I was hooked straight away.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I have too many happy memories to mention them all. I just love camping in the summer with my friends and if we do well that is a big plus but mainly I just enjoy the socialisation and taking part with my dogs.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
We were Pippin's fourth home and we re-homed her in August 2009 when she was about six months old. H
er mother was a JRT but I don't think anyone knows what her father was.
The thing that I find surprising about her is that she took to Agility in the first place! We really only got her as a companion for Will after our other little dog died and he was grieving and depressed. She took to it like a duck to water and has won the Senior Medium Ruby award twice now and has been runner up in both her Rescue League and The Agility Club League for the past two years. She won into Grade 7 at Lune last year and I am very proud of her.

Steve Mellor
3rd Platinum - Medium
Points: 814

Dog:
Asplands Muddy Waters (Jim)
Breed: Border Terrier
Age: 7 years

How often do you train and where?
We train at Newton Heath DTC twice a week weather permitting, as we train outdoors.

How and when did you start Agility?
I knew nothing about Agility. But when I was doing Obedience training, I saw the Agility training going on and decided that was for us.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
We
enrolled on the next new handlers course when Jim was 18 months old. That is when I became hooked.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I think my most favourite moment was when we won into Grade 7 18 months ago - something I only dreamed of when we started to compete.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Jim never ceases to surprise me how he knows when we are about to reach our destination - wherever that is. He does this by showing excitement even though he can't see were we are. I could go on for ever about this amazing little dog.

Jane Morris
1st Ruby - Small
Points: 1069

Dog: Sherrygold Never Look Back (Louis)
Breed: Toy Poodle
Age: 3 years

How often do you train and where?
We train once a week with Frome Dog Training Club and I have, whenever possible, one-to-one training with Angela Williams at Wellington, Somerset

How and when did you start Agility?
I started Agility about six years ago with my Standard Poodle but she loved the training but hated competing. She used to walk out of the ring so my husband Richard gave me Louis for Christmas three years ago.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
The first time that I competed with Louis I knew that I was hooked. He is just so lovely to train and compete with and such a character, barking his orders at me all the time.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility? 
Competing at the UKA Grand Finals in 2011. It was a fantastic experience, one that I'll never forget.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
I honestly can't think of anything except being told by our first trainer that we would never get anywhere because he wasn't training us anymore. Two months after leaving him when Louis was 18 months old we went to an Independent Show and won both Novice Jumping and Novice Agility under him.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
F
ind a good trainer who is sympathetic and treats you as individuals, but most of all relax and have fun.

Jacky Orriss
1st Gold - Large & Overall Winner
Points: 3103

Dog: Oh Ted (Ted)
Breed: Border Collie
Age 5 years

 

 

How often do you train and where?
We train once or twice a week either with our trainer Tony Metcalf or at our training club Rosie Green.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started 100 years ago (or it seems that long ago) with my GSDs Duke and Ellie after I gave up horses back in 1990. I needed something to do with my spare time with the dogs and Agility fitted the ticket.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
Pretty much immediately we started especially as I could see the fun the dogs where having.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
Attending Hoof and Woof under invitation at Wembley and of course my first win.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Surprising about Ted? He is such a 'conservative' lad; nothing gets him going apart from Agility. I never taught him the see-saw.
That he mastered by himself. He watched the other dogs for a couple of weeks, then took it upon himself that he would step on and that was that, see-saw mastered!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Have fun and enjoy your dog, always remember to praise him/her and you will get more in return.

Pat Pickard
2nd Diamond - Large
Points: 1081
 

Dog: Icemead Atlantis Mist (Misti)
Breed: GSD
Age: 7 years

How often do you train and where?
We train twice a week with the Harrogate ATS.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started about nine years ago with an old dog for fun and exercise and got a bit more serious when Misti was about 18 months old.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
When we started to compete and get some clear rounds.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
Misti going halfway across the ring to go through a tunnel, in the opposite direction to me.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Remember it should be fun, even when things go wrong.

Arthur Read
1st Platinum - Small
Points: 2040

Dog: Arfer Penny (Penny)
Breed: JRT X Patterdale Terrier
Age: 4 years

 

 

 

 

How often do you train and where?
We train three times a week: at home; one-to-one; and in a group session.

How and when did you start Agility?
I started in Agility just over 12 years ago when, having taken early retirement, my wife and I brought home two Border Collie litter sisters and saw an advert for Agility classes. We knew very little about it and thought it would be a good way to get some exercise with the dogs! I started out with Border Collies, my then favourite breed, but after working three of them, I then decided to take on the challenge of training and running a dog for the Small category, hence the introduction of Penny to our household.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
In my first year of competing we only entered a few shows that were within easy range of home. In the second year, we bought a caravan so that we could go further afield and, therefore, gain more points towards my winning Starter of the Year. I was becoming hooked on Agility.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
My favourite memory is that of winning Intermediate Jumping with my second Border Collie, Pippa, whom I lost at the age of three.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
People, who have seen how enthusiastic and exuberant Penny is when competing and out on our daily walks when she likes nothing better than to chase the length of a field after the crows, might be surprised to know how much she enjoys being in her crate. In fact, in the mornings she often won't come out until after we've had our breakfast, especially if the weather is wet. 

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
I would say to all newbies that the main thing is to have fun and enjoy it and to this end I have recently gained another Patterdale pup to bring on whilst the old legs are still holding out! 

Maureen Reynolds
2nd Gold - Large
Points: 1892
Dog: On the Brynk (Bryn)
 
Breed: Working Sheepdog
Age: 5 years old in April.

 

How often do you train and where?
Bryn and I train at Harrogate ATS, where I am one of the trainers. I also train with Janet Nero at 4Paws.

How and when did you start Agility?
I have been competing in Agility since 1986 when I started with Bess, my Border Collie, who went all the way to the old Advanced level and competed at Olympia. Since then I have seen Agility change a lot, but have carried on enjoying competing and training. I feel fortunate to have met many friends in Agility and it is a massive part of my social life.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
I think all my family and friends outside Agility know how hooked I am when we find it so difficult to arrange social events that have to be fitted around dog shows and training!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I can't think of one particular memory of Agility. There have been so many over the years. I think getting to Olympia has to be rated as a big achievement for me, but also just having a really good run, getting a 1st place and moving up a Grade and having a fantastic weekend at a show despite not winning anything, all rate as good memories.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
I think that someone just starting out in Agility has to recognise that the more you put into your dog the more you will get out of him/her. Also you have to have a good sense of humour.

Olive Rowe
2nd Diamond - Small
Points: 523

Dog: Roweminis Last Chance (Susie)
Breed: Patterdale Terrier
Age: 11 1/2 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you train and where?
Training is now 1-2 times a week with Forest Agility Dogs and Wellow DTC

How and when did you start Agility?
It it all started 26 years ago when my partner Don bought me a three year old Sheltie called Teqwyn. We joined the Solent & District Dog Display Team and Teqwyn's job was to wear a harness with two collecting tins which helped towards the literally thousands of pounds we raised for Hearing Dogs for the Deaf People and Camvet (Cambridge Veterinary College). Not many could resist that little dog sitting on her haunches begging for some attention!

When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
We caught the dog Agility bug and joined the Kennel Club and started doing Competition Agility. Before long we had bought a motorhome and were travelling up and down the country. Scotland, Wales, Norfolk, Kent, Cornwall. You name it and we went. I guess you'd say I well and truly hooked!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I have so many happy memories that it's difficult to pick a favourite. One would have to be when two of my dogs Freddie (Jackypoo) and Candy (Sheltie) qualified for the Pedigree Chum Finals at the same show at Three Counties Showground. I was very proud. I also have a hazy memory of a show when we had just a few too many glasses of liquid relaxation and it was very difficult to run the next day when the ground was moving. Times were like that in those days when everyone gathered round and exchanged ideas and got slightly intoxicated doing so! I don't drink anymore (sic).

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Over the years I've had a few dogs including a larger than life JRT x Poodle called Freddie. Freddie was well known for having an extremely good nose, much to the dismay of our camping friends when he crashed through their new fly screen to present himself in time for dinner! I still smile about the time Freddie came to a water jump and flatly refused to go over it He just did not like water. It was hugely funny for the judge! We had many different obstacles in the early days.and my dog that won this award is Suzie - a Patterdale Terrier who is now 11.5 yrs old (she will be 12 on 23.8.13). She still surprises and amazes me with her youthful, yappy, winning ways - in 2012 she won 11 classes and took home plenty of other trophies and rosettes.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Agility has played such a large part in my life that I would recommend it to anyone. It keeps you young, fit and introduces you to a whole new social circle. I would definitely advise doing some obedience first though. Agility is just one discipline but anything you do with your dogs you need to understand the basics first.

Janet White Spunner
3rd Diamond - Medium
Points: 65

Dog: IR.Ch. & Int.Ch. Tanglebrook Nice 'n Noble (Gounod)
Breed: Miniature Poodle
Age: 3 years

How often do you train and where?
Every week Jenny Hickey, Raharney, Co. Meath (Republic of Ireland)

How and when did you start Agility?
I started seven years ago. My Min Poodle bitch puppy needed obedience classes which led to discovering Agility

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
Immediately!! What my dog loves, I have to love!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
Probably being part of a 'rest of the world' team at Kelmarsh. The whole Kelmarsh / Rockingham experience is wonderful fun.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
He surprises me when he stays in the ring! He's a stud dog so he sometimes has other things on his mind! I now have his 14 week old daughter and she's chasing through tunnels for sport!

 

 

Gabriele Stevens
2nd Gold - Small
Points: 1509

Dog: Stanley Big Boy (Stanley)
Breed: Jack Russell Terrier
Age: 4 1/2 years

 

How often do you train and where?
We have a private lesson every fortnight and train weekly with Phoenix Agility Club in Normanton-on-Soar, near Loughborough.

How and when did you start Agility?
Stanley
is my first dog ever. We came to Agility when he was already 2 1/2 years old. He took to it like a fish to water and showed real enthusiasm.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
When we came to our first show after one year training we got a First which probably hooked us to Agility. And Stanley is very keen on doing Agility: He has reached KC Grade 4 and we are now very keen to get into Grade 5. Might be some time as it will take us three wins

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
It is now a combination of keeping the dog busy and trying to win as well as the friendly atmosphere at Agility shows.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
When we take the equipment out for training, he instantly starts using contact equipment as well as weaves by himself, happy to be back at his playground

What one thing would you advise anyone starting
If I started Agility again I would train the dog from puppy age onwards just with certain games aimed for the later Agility chores. But I still think that the bondage between you and your dog and to get the dog focused are the most essential points for successful Agility.

Sue Taylor
3rd Ruby - Large
Points: 1284

Dog
Lie Low Lilly (The Lil)
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 5 years and still acting like a pup

How often do you train and where?
I try and train twice a week , in a group with Jenny Goude of Rightstart in Shropshire . On a ‘one to one' basis I go to Lee Gibson and recently I have had a few lessons with Nicola Garrett.

How and when did you start Agility?
Started Agility originally in 1997 with a rescue collie as a way of keeping him occupied and me fit. Then stopped in 2002 when he got an injury – not Agility related. Started again in 2009 when Lil was old enough to train, as Lil is from working stock it was an ideal sport for her to use up some of that energy and she just loves to work

 When did you know you were hooked on Agility? 
I got hooked almost straight away when I saw how much my first lad enjoyed it and thought if I ever had another dog I'd try again – and here I am thoroughly enjoying it even if there are a few creaking bones and lots of ‘senior moments'! here are many special memories, my very first rosette with my first dog, Tim, but the best just has to be last year at Lune, getting that final Agility win on Ian Dobison's course and so getting Lil to Grade ?

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
I think that the one thing that surprises me most about Lil is her willingness to work whatever the weather, show her a jump and she's happy you can almost see her smile.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
My advice to anyone starting out in Agility is to go and have fun with your dog whatever age you are. Agility is great way for you and your dog to keep fit and you'll have lots of laughs along the way and you'll meet some great people, too.

Margaret White
2nd Ruby - Medium
Points: 1226

Dog: Mallerstang Daisy Blue AW/G (Daisy)
Breed: Collie X
Age: 8 years

How often do you train and where?
I belong to Barnard Castle Dog Training Club and try to train once a week there. When I started that was all the training we did, but now I have some space and jumps at home so we often go and play for short five minute sessions which makes her really excited.

How and when did you start Agility?
Daisy was 15 months old when I got her so training didn't start until she was 18 months.

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
In her first show Daisy jumped 3 jumps and left the ring for the exercise field. Progress was slow as she would often stop for a scratch or leave the ring to find my husband. He is now banned from watching her unless well hidden and things are much better. Winning out of grade 1 made me want to do more. We are now Grade 7.

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
The most exciting day was when I won the last two classes I needed at grade 6 on the same day which took us to grade 7.

Tell us something surprising about your dog
Daisy is a rescue from the Blue Cross so we don't know her breeding, probably a collie X terrier. We usually say collie X steam train as she used to pull like a train – cured now! Her favourite place is the beach.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
Find a good trainer and be patient!

Lesley Wilks
1st Platinum - Large
Points: 1753

Dog: Ashpen Amazing Ace AWS + Gold Good Citizens (Kayos)
Breed: WSD
Age: 12 years

How often do you train and where?
Kayos doesn't train now but might do a few jumps in the garden just to keep her "jump fit". I train the other dogs twice a week with Upanova Tigers

How and when did you start agility?
I had seen agility from Crufts and Olympia and desperately wanted to do it. I started with Daventry DTC way back in 1987.

When did you know you were hooked on agility?
Pretty soon, it was 5 months from my first lesson to first show (where we achieved a clear round) and by then I was totally addicted!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing agility?
One of the best is winning the team at Crufts in 1995 but any brilliant run, whether placed or not, can be memorable.

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Kayos usually carries a pink ring (dog toy) on the exercise area and frequently throws it in the air and catches it. People think I have taught her to do this but it is entirely her own way of amusing herself.

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in agility today?
Firstly make sure it is always, always fun for your dog. Then train the basics correctly before moving on too quickly.

 

 

 

Pauline Willmott
3rd Diamond - Small
Points: 438

Dog
: Jhanakia Highland Warrior AW/G
(Skipper or Skippy)

Breed: Papillon (oversize!)
Age: 6 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you train and where?
We train one morning a week, weather permitting, in a small informal group run by Toni Harrison-Jones at her home. Throughout the winter months, we have the good fortune to be trained once a fortnight by Helen Anderson who has been my inspiration for quite a number of years now.

How and when did you start Agility?
Back in the dark ages, early 1980s, the obedience club I was at had some equipment they got out occasionally for us to 'have a go' and I was always itching to be doing this rather than all the formal stuff. Then Sue Ellis (Wroxham Agility Group) started WAG and I was there from the very beginning. I was lucky the dog I started with was a very steady working sheepdog, followed by an equally steady GSD, who earned me sack fulls of clear round rosettes. Although unspectacular, I was gaining valuable experience all the time. Thinking back on some of the training methods, though, and some of the non-standard equipment we used, fills me with horror!

When did you know you were hooked on Agility?
Right from the start, if I saw a course of equipment, I wanted to be out there, doing it. This urge has been a life-saver for me because in 1992 I was suddenly struck down with Polymyalgia Rheumatica and, for a while, I was virtually immobilised, struggling over several years to get back to some sort of normality. The Agility training when I started it again was a painful battle, but gradually I began competing once more. I spent a fortune on Alexander Technique, Pilates, and all sorts of therapies I thought might help to loosen me up. I am sure that had I not been so bent on doing the Agility, I would have taken the easy way out and taken up knitting and a sedentary life. To this day I rely on medication, and make myself do Pilates (hate it) when, in the mornings, I rather resemble that reptile who lumbered across the screen at the beginning of One Foot in the Grave. But, I'm out there, doing Agility! Nowadays, as I run less, I am really enjoying helping other people. One symptom of being hooked is realising the awful power success or failure has over my emotions. Agility has the ability to create quite violent mood swings of which I am not proud!

What is one of your favourite memories of doing Agility?
I can't think of a single event, but getting into the Finals at Dogs in Need - which I must say we have managed to do each year - and also at JDA, is a huge thrill for me, especially if we then manage not to get eliminated! The adrenalin rush is amazing, and miraculously, just for a while I feel young again! Mostly we are specialists in getting 2nds, 3rds and 4ths. So many, that Skipper has earned his Gold Agility Warrant twice over, and I think the KC should invent something like AW/G x 2 to mark it!

Tell us something surprising about your dog.
Skipper is usually a steady, predictable dog, so this question is a h
ard one. I think h
e surprised me most when, early on, at one show I had gone lame and a complete stranger offered to run him. She produced a tiny tennis ball and he went crazy. Up to that time, I had only ever trained with treats. So besotted he was, that after the round he followed her right across the camp site without a single thought for his (supposedly) nearest and dearest. At the time that really shocked me, but I now know that he will sell his soul to anyone who produces a squeaky toy or ball, and will forget about me utterly. But wow, what a super training aid!

What one thing would you advise anyone starting out in Agility today?
I could write a whole essay on this - but just to say one thing - th
at is difficult! Probably top of the list has to be to build a rapport with your dog -
loving, playful, but also full of respect, learning lots of tricks and responses with generous, well-timed rewards and play. I would just love to write at least half a dozen important things here, but obviously I am not allowed! But I might finish with be prepared to get into debt buying a caravan which you had never ever intended!

 

 

 

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