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An Early Agility Test

One of the first photos of an agility show

The above photograph was taken at the very first agility event
after it was originally performed at Crufts Dog Show in February 1978.

Can you spot five (5) differences in this scene 22 years ago from the agility ring today? Answers on an email to Agilitynet. Extra points if you can find more than five differences, and a bone-us if you can name the judge and handler. Everyone who sends in a response will get a mention on Agilitynet.

The answers, according to the Voice, will be posted on 1 November 2000, so if you want to compare your answers with those of J. Gilbert way back in 1993, mark that date in your diary and visit this page then.

The Answers according to The Voice

  1. The dogs is on the stand on the table

  2. The dog is being held

  3. There is a collar on the dog

  4. The discontinued 'window jump' in the background

  5. No wings on the hurdle

  6. The judge is doing his own scribing

  7. And, of course, both the judge and handler were young boys!

And for those who had a stab at the bonus - The judge was Don Horsfall and the handler with a good head of hair was a much younger John Gilbert with his GSD Becky.

Now the big question... Does anyone know where and when the photo was taken?

Well done Brenda Tenten...
This one is easy (I think!)
The venue shown in the comp picture is Otley's old show ground at Bradford University's Sports Ground, Bradford. The road is to the right, out of shot, the sports pavilion is right and behind, the 'exercise area' around the lake is beyond the fence, and the car park some way to the left. Some way behind is the Territorial Army Centre.

Like Ron, I was also first trained by Don, and I still fall back on some of his ideas and methods when training others. He had a real understanding of dog mentality and always put their interests before those of the handler. I believe he still has the right idea. He now spends a considerable part of the year in the Mediterranean while we are in the cold I'm told.


Now compare your answers

From Ron Rawlingson
Now the reason for the email the photo quiz

I know that the Judge is Don Horsfall. He was my original trainer in agility and, I believe,  he is not credited enough for his input into the sport in its early days. I owe a lot to this guy.

The bloke with the flairs on ???? If I put the mouse pointer over his hair so that it looks like he has none, it looks like John Gilbert to me.

  1. The scale is not used anymore.
  2. No ring boundary ropes.
  3. Handler holding dog.
  4. Handler wearing flairs.
  5. Judge is scribing for himself.
  6. Hurdle height incorrect to upright and no wings.
  7. The floppy tunnel doesn't appear to be pegged.
  8. Dog standing on table and handler holding dog.
  9. Dave Rays van isn't there.

From Brenda Tenten...
I think the five differences (or more) are:

  1. Use of the scale

  2. Dog standing on table

  3. Handler holding dog

  4. Wings on jump not noticeably higher than jump (well, not really wings, more uprights)

  5. Ring ropes not apparent

  6. Judge is scribing

  7. Tunnel not obviously pegged (by the way, the tunnel was old air ducting from the mines)

Bonus: The judge is definitely Don Horsfall, a northerner often overlooked in his valuable contributions to creating and developing the sport of agility. And is the handler a younger John Gilbert himself?

Addendum: I've changed my mind about the handler - it's likely to be either Peter Meanwell or Peter Lewis

From Heidi Vague
I think the five differences are as follows:-

  1. Handler is holding the dog

  2. The dog is not lying on the table

  3. The judge appears to be scribing as well

  4. There are no ring boundary ropes - ? no ring size limits

  5. The inclusion of the scale jump

Extras - The tunnel doesn't look very secure, and there are no wings on the jump.

Bonus - I don't recognise either handler or judge!

From Penny Garner-Carpenter

  1. Use of 'scramble jump'

  2. Ring not 'roped'

  3. Judge also scribing

  4. Dog wearing collar

  5. Tunnel not 'staked down'.

Bonus - You could also add that the clothes have altered somewhat - judges now smarter (usually) and competitors looking more 'sporty' - although in pouring rain we still may wear a coat this is now very unusual.

From Mick Chambers
With reference to the above titled article and photo I think that the five differences are as follows:-

  1. Dog is STANDING on the table.

  2. Handler is HOLDING the dog.

  3. Scale wall.

  4. TWO bars on the jump

  5. NO wings on the jump.

I'm probably wrong but I thought I would have a go.

P.S. It may be just the photo, but the tunnel doesn't look too secure!

Reprinted with kind permission of John Gilbert from Agility Voice (February 1993.)