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For the rising stars of agility...

The Agria Agility Challenge celebrates all that is good in the Agility calendar. It is one of the 'must try' for annual finals for the rising stars of the Agility world. Once again it is being organised by Country Shows Agility and is open to Large dogs G1-4.

The Finalists

Agria Agility Challenge Final 2019

Following a spring and summer of thrilling heats across the country, the Final of the Agria Agility Challenge made for a very exciting end to the competition. Some of the UK's highest flying, rising stars with their G1-4 dogs had qualified to take part in what has become a staple of the agility calendar. For many of the dogs taking part, this was their first experience of an agility final – and what better event than at the Malvern Autumn Show on 29th September with over 30,000 visitors to impress!

Throughout the morning, the finalists gathered in the Top Dog arena for a few warm-up runs to get used to all the hustle and bustle of the showground before the afternoon’s big event,

Championship Judge Hannah Banks said, 'The Agria Agility Challenge is a wonderful and important competition giving great experience for the up and coming agility stars of the future. I was thrilled to be invited to judge the 2019 Final, ending a day designed to give these fabulous dogs and handlers the confidence to do their very best. It was great to have a mix of interesting classes in the morning, a Steeplechase with a nice, flowing. confidence giving course to start, then a Jumping round and finally a Power and Speed to practice accuracy and speed.'

The weather was somewhat changeable weather but luckily the worst of the rain fell during the lunch break. The afternoon Final drew quite a crowd that seemed to appreciate the skills on display. It was lovely to see a good range of breeds making it through to the final.

There were some great rounds and some oh-so-close runs, such as Sam Clarke, running Lalapaws Shaken Not Stirred. and the crowd-pleasing Gary The Gooner run by Alan Brickley, who unfortunately just tipped a pole. A wonderful run won the Final for Jan Gordon with Lilhaze Kwik Save Me in 38.185 secs. The runner up with another lovely run was Karen Sanders with The Merle Of Valgrays.

The winner Jan Gordon with Judge Hannah BanksThose of a certain vintage will no doubt recognise an early Doctor Who companion, Blue Peter presenter and a voice of Crufts, Peter Purvis who joined us for presentations.

Shelley Harrison from Agria Pet Insurance, one of the very few providers to cover agility dogs while they work, train and compete, said, 'The Final was fantastic with so many enthusiastic dogs creating a great spectacle for the audience. At Agria Pet Insurance, we are very passionate about pets and owners enjoying their time together, so we're thrilled to support Agility/ What could be a better example of having fun together? Well done to all our finalists, and many congratulations to Jan and the gorgeous Kwik for their stunning winning round.'

Hannah Banks finished by saying, 'Thank you everyone involved for great organisation, for looking after me so well, and thank you Agria Pet Insurance for sponsoring, supporting and enabling this great competitive experience. As ever thanks go to all the ring party for all your help throughout the day and also to all the handlers for their continued support of all for this event. Many thanks to Sean Cameron for taking the photos which can be viewed at:

The Winners

  1.  Jan Gordon with Lilhaze Kwik Save Me - 38.185 secs  (C)

  2.  Karen Sanders with The Merle of Valgrays - 40.908 secs  (C)

  3.  Melissa Royall with Fairground Floss - 41.038 secs  (C)

  4.  Lou Pink with Follyfleet Thief of Time - 45.611 secs (0.611f)

  5.  Alan Brickley with Gary The Gooner - 36.083 secs (5f)

  6.  Rachel Williams with Blamorder Just Like Magic - 38.232 secs (5f)

  7.  Craig Woodhead with Buffalo Girl Go Round the Outside - 39.948 secs (5f)

  8.  Julia Mclean with Freyasways Emerald Yolo - 43.109 secs (5f)

  9.  Barbara Flood Page with Tilly Quickstep - 45.912 secs (5.912f)

  10.  Trevor Many with Magical Maisie - 47.780 secs (7.180f)

Chatsworth Open Agility Show

The last qualifier of 2019 took place at the stunning Chatsworth Country Fair where the results were unusual in that they were completely collie-free! Topping the results was Craig Woodhead's super-fast Staffie while the last finalist to get in was Alan Brickley' with Gary the Gooner with a wonderful performance that was a great testament to the owner’s hard work throughout the summer.

The judge was Dawn WIlliams.

Heat 10 - Chatsworth Country Fair Open Agility Show

  1. Craig Woodhead with Buffalo Gal Go Round D'Outside -39.071 seces  (C)

  2. Charlotte Ward with Gillygals Dream Boat - 42.969 secs  (C)

  3. Naomi Thorn with Mayhem Earth - 51.371 secs (5f)

  4. Rachel Webb with The Dizbomb - 60.522 secs (8.522f)

  5. Alan Brickley with Gary The Gooner - 35.768 secs (10f)

So after a spring and summer of incredible heat -  and heats - the 50 finalists for the 2019 Agria Agility Challenge Final have all been decided. Huge congratulations to all of our qualifiers – we cannot wait to watch you in action at the final on 29th September at The Malvern Autumn Show.

Bromsgrove Premier Agility

Heat 9 took place at Bromsgrove Premier Agility Show on one of our hottest days of the year which didn't suit all the dogs. Judge Ben Elsworthy, however, did his best efforts to set an appropriate course.

One or two familiar Midland faces made the line up at the penultimate heat of the Challenge. The winner was a delighted Kim Watts who, over the year, has achieved success with many dogs and seems to yet again to be a rising star of the agility world!

Heat 9 - Bromsgrove Premier Agility Show

  1. Kim Watts with Weircourt Darcy

  2. Julie Stevens with Kinaway Greased Lightening

  3. Jan Gordon with Wilihaze Kwik Save Me

  4. Trisha White with Flyaway on My Zephyr

  5. Melissa Royall with Fairground Floss

Welsh Kennel Club Championship Agility Show

All the way back to Heat 8 at the Welsh Kennel Club Show, where the weather was an altogether different prospect. Fortunately for us, the purpose-built RWAS showground welcomed Championship Agility, Breed and Obedience with none of the mud that shows at other venues were dealing with.

Luckily Judge Robin Gretenkort got the best of the weather as he found our Welsh-connected qualifiers for this year's Challenge.

Winner Izzy Hill told Agilitynet, 'It was a lovely course not that I walked it before I ran.  Deno listened very well. He’s my first dog and a very special boy in every way.'

Heat 8 - Welsh Kennel Club Championship & Open Agility Show

  1. Izzy Hill with Little Dynamo Deno - 33.653 secs  (C)

  2. Lois Harris with Hawksflight Jus Lyk a Movie - 36.905 secs (C)

  3. Lauren O’Connor with Griffsgirls Concealed - 39.161 secs (5f)

  4. Barbara Flood-Page with Tilly Quickstep - 43.126 secs (5f)

  5. Julia Maclean with Freyasway Emerald Yolo - 45.156 secs (5f)

Good luck to all the finalists and special thanks to all our host events, the judges, ring parties and hard-working show secretaries who make a massive contribution to this competition for the rising stars of the Agility world.

The Challenge returns in 2020!

Holkham County Fair

The theme for this year’s Holkham County Fair was celebrating land, sea and sky which was appropriate as the Showground is just a stone’s throw from acres of beach and a coastal pine forest. We arrived in brilliant sunshine which encouraged both holidaymakers and local residents to visit the fair.

With the lake and ducks close by the Agility ring, the temptation for the dogs to take a dip was great but resisted by all, although several took a very close look much to the amusement of the crowds and the discomfort of the handler. No duck was harmed during our Agility weekend.

Our judge Jackie Kenny surprised some by announcing that today would be her last Agility judging appointment. Hopefully she enjoyed her day and the happy faces of some of the qualifiers - the rest were discovering the delights the fair - bore testament to an enjoyable time.

Heat 7 - Holkham Country Fair

  1. Laurence Blake with Bruno's Barmy Army

  2. Trevor Manby with Magical Maisie

  3. Eliza Fisher with My Curly Tailed Boy Jasper

  4. Lisa Holler with Morgansr Kissed The Blarney

  5. Emma Austin with Gainsthorpe Gillyweed

Invitations will shortly be sent across the country to all 50 finalists for this year’s Agria Agility Challenge and we very much hope all will be able to join us at the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday, 29th September 2019, for the final of Agria Agility Challenge, to be judged by Championship Agility judge, Hannah Banks.

Rugby DTC Championship Weekend

Rugby Championship Weekend was a really busy show, and one which produced some of our fastest Agria Agility Challenge finalists to date.

Judged by Doc Doherty, the top five completed the full agility course in under 30 seconds, making them hot contenders for the Agria Agility Challenge final to be held at the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday, 29th September 2019, judged by Championship Agility judge, Hannah Banks.

With the heats of the competition almost over, the opportunities are reducing of joining us at this year’s final, so do make sure you check out the remaining host clubs dates and details.

Heat 6 - Rugby Championship Weekend

  1. Sam Clarke with Lalapaws Shaken Not Stirred - 27.133 secs (C)

  2. Kathrin Tasker with Cha Cha Cha Charlie - 27.998 secs (C)

  3. Gwynne Lyons with Borderpops Buzz Lightpaws - 28.288 secs (C)

  4. Isabel Austin with Jonanelle Portia - 28.359 secs (C)

  5. Marilyn Murphy with Indistorm Lyte of Neon - 29.461 secs (C)

RVA Championship Weekend

Heat 5 of Agria Agility Challenge heat took place at the RVA Championship Weekend show which, for the first time, was held at Peterborough FC. As usual, it attracted a great range of breeds including a very agile Boxer, and it was great to see a Bearded Collie in the final line up.

Grace Mead might have been the unluckiest competitor to take part in the Agria Agility Challenge thus far.  for the rising stars of the Agility world, sponsored by Agria Pet Insurance and kindly judged by Lynne Garstang. With the fastest time of class, her five faults might have cost her a place in the FInal at the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday, 29th September 2019 to be judged by Championship Agility judge, Hannah Banks.

Happily for her, good fortune took a hand and Grace, who had traveled from Wales to attend the event, secured that last qualifying place.

Heat 5 - RVA Championship Show

  1. Gemma Walchester with Bexonolly Miss Dior - 34.994 secs (C)

  2. Pauline Droy with Moore with Kalizar Dakota - 41.096 secs (C)

  3. Jane Gemmill with Holtend Harmonica - 43.464 secs (C)

  4. Rachel Wilcox with Two Oh Two Llanbister Tyke - 52.811 secs (C)

  5. Grace Mead with Kaiyanita Midnight Charm - 34.748 secs (5f)

Huge congratulations to all of our qualifiers so far!

Dogs Unleashed

The phrase 'Bustling Bakewell' describes this Peak District town perfectly. The showground is within walking distance of the town centre, and Dogs Unleashed weekend arrived in the warm sunshine with a host of canine activites, trade stands and dog things to watch. The deluge waited until late Sunday night.

Dogs Unleashed, this year on the weekend of 22nd-23rd June, drew visitors from across Central England. It was a truly active doggy event giving an exciting, fun filled and informative weekend for everyone with the  Agility ring centre stage. The judge for the Fourth Heat of the Agria Agility Challenge, sponsored by Agria Pet Insurance, was Pat Wallis.

Completing the course in a lightning speed clear round was Michael Adams with Cloud City Destroyer, followed hot on the heels by Clarissa Brown with Miss Rose Strike A Pose.

Well done to you both, and the other finalists who have made it through to join the at the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday 29th September 2019, for the final of Agria Agility Challenge, to be judged by Championship Agility judge, Hannah Banks.

Heat 4 - Dogs Unleashed

  1. Michael Adams with Cloud City Destroyer - 22.004 secs (C)

  2. Clarissa Brown with Miss Rose Strike a Pose - 22.776 secs (C)

  3. Nicola Trickett with Thorntonfern Kestrel - 24.054 secs (C)

  4. Craig Asker with Jinxy Lynx Paws a While - 32.142 secs (C)

  5. Mandy Welton with Dogtanian a Journeys Eve - 37.134 secs (C)

Huge congratulations to all of our qualifiers so far!

Top Agility on Display at Top Barn!

Worcester's Premier Agility Show, held at Top Barn on the 18th May, was a brilliant event at a great venue which also provides a location to several agility events throughout the year. With a backdrop of a farm shop, a maize maze, 44 tonners loading chilled crops and an activity centre, it was a perfect day out for the 150 rising stars of the agility world who came from far and wide, seeking one of the five quaifying places at each heat of the Agria Agiity Challenge.

This was the third heat of the Agria Agility Challenge, judged by Agility Team GB Manager Mark Laker, who set a course that sent handlers from one side of the ring to the other, just to get going! Those making it have joined the finalists at the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday, 29th September 2019, set to be judged by Championship Agility judge, Hannah Banks.

In a fast and thrilling clear round, Hilary Jordan, with Amduki's Crispy Temaki Zooka, took 1st place, beating her nearest rival by almost two seconds.

Heat 3 - Worcester Premier Agility Show

  1. Hilary Jordan with Amduki's Crispy Temaki Zooka - 24.295 secs (C)

  2. Carolyn Davies with Mister Wisdom - 26.003 secs (C)

  3. Julie Stevens with Kinaway Grease Lightening - 26.357 secs (C)

  4. Anne-Marie Waugh with Chazak Skys The Limit - 29.494 secs (C)

  5. Ian Radford with Adric of Alzarius - 29.507 secs (C)

Huge congratulations to Hilary and all of our qualifiers so far!

The Winning Continues at North Somerset

The second heat of this year's Agria Agility Challenge 2019 was held at the fantastic North Somerset Show. With car parks overflowing, the fine day had everything from award-winning cattle to unbelievable tractor pulling – and of course, the wonderful spectacle that is the Agria Agility Challenge!

Many different breeds - from a greyhound to a boxer – took part in the second heat of the competition, which is especially designed for the rising stars of the Agility world. Judged by David Sweeney, the course resulted in many clear rounds right up until the last fence.

Winner Ally Weller, with My Teddy Boy, did manage to retain her clear until the end – completing the course in an impressive 31.96 seconds. She was thrilled to have won and qualified for the Agria Agility Challenge Grand Final at the Malvern Autumn Show on Sunday, 29th September 2019 and commented, 'I am very excited and slightly stunned to have won a qualifier!'

The Agria Agility Challenge 2019 is open to Grades 1- 4 dogs, with heats throughout the year. The top five placed at each heat will qualify for September’s final, be judged by Championship Agility judge Hannah Banks.

Heat 2 - North Somerset Show

  1. Ally Weller with My Teddy Boy - 31.967 secs (C)

  2. Lou Pink with Follyfleet Thief of Time - 33.039 secs (C)

  3. Julie Palmer with Alfie Loves a Sweetie - 35.098 secs (C)

  4. Hilary Bowden with Son of a Gunner - 36.967 secs (C)

  5. Lesely Dean with Melindhowr of Godrevy - 37.825 secs (C)

Huge congratulations to Ally and all of our qualifiers so far!

Heat 3 will see the Agria Agility Challenge head northwards to the Worcester Premier Agility Show to find our next five Agria Agility Challenge 2019 qualifiers.

The Season's First Winners at Andoversford

 Congratulations to the first winners of the first heat of the Agria Agility Challenge 2019 which was held at Andoversford Point to Point Festival on 7th April, and attracted many of agility’s rising stars.

Country Shows Agility Graham Taylor said, 'We were delighted to see Agility at the forefront of this fabulous spring event, amongst some other great family attractions. This is one of the venue’s premier equine events, and set in the lovely spring sunshine, spectator numbers were high which added to the exciting atmosphere..

The competition, appropriately judged by ex-jump jockey Veronica Hill, was every bit as exciting as we could have wished for, with five fast clear rounds taking the top five places. Beating their nearest rivals by 1.5 seconds were Becky Bryant with Batfink Bombs Away, who completed the course in just 29.761 secs.

Becky said, 'I was extremely happy when we found out we had qualified for the final! Bomb has a mind of his own sometimes, so clears can be rare. We are both very much looking forward to the Final and fingers crossed he listens when it matters! But whatever happens, we are going to go and have fun as that’s what it’s all about!'

Heat 1 - Andoversford Point to Point Festival

  1. Becky Bryant with Batfink Bombs Away - 29.761 secs (C)

  2. Rachel Williams with Blamorder Just like Magic - 31.262 secs (C)

  3. Karen Sanders The Merle of Valgrays - 32.860 secs (C)

  4. Rosie Reid with Splatterday Night Fever - 35.667 secs (C)

  5. Peter Dowie with Fearless Seal - 38.759 secs (C)

Hopefully the Andoversford weather will continue across the outdoor season as Heat 2 of the Agira Agility Challenge heads southwards to the North Somerset Show to find the next five Agria Agility Challenge 2019 qualifiers. Congratulations to our first set of finalists, and good luck to those taking part in the remaining heats!


Agria Backs Agility in 2019

Agria Pet Insurance will continue to support the Agria Agility Challenge in 2019. With it's regional heats for dogs at Grades 1- 4, this competition is for standard height Large dogs during the spring and summer, culminating in a thrilling final in September in the Top Dogs Arena at The Malvern Autumn Show.

Tom Vaughan, Head of Marketing at Agria Pet Insurance, said, 'We’re delighted to announce continue Agria support of Agility in 2019. It’s fantastic to see the speed and skill of the rising stars of the Agility world and we cannot wait to watch their progress through to what no doubt will be thrilling final in September. Agility is an outstanding activity for the health and well-being of both dogs and handlers – great for fitness and mental well-being, and to deepen the bond for the most rewarding of animal-owner partnerships. We can’t wait to follow the up and coming agility stars of 2019 through to the final in September. It’s going to be an exciting year!'

Heats for the Agria Agility Challenge 2019 have been announced at the following venues:-

April 2019

  • 07 April - Andoversford Point to Point Festival (Gloucestershire)

May 2019

  • 06 May - Severnside at The North Somerset Show (Wraxall, Somerset)

  • 18 May - Worcester Premier Agility Show (Top Barn, Worcestershire)

June 2019

  • 22 - 23 June - Dogs Unleashed (Bakewell, Derbyshire)

July 2019

  • 05 -07 July - RVA Championship Agility Show (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire)

  • 13 - 14 July - Rugby Championship Agility Show (Royale Farm, Staffordshire)

  • 20 -  21 July - Holkham County Fair (Holkham, Norfolk)

August 2019

  • 16 - 18 August - Welsh Kennel Club Championship Agility Show (Builth Wells, Powys)

  • 24 - 25 August - Bromsgrove Premier Agility Show (Dodderhill Equestrian, Worcestershire)

  • 31 August - Chatsworth County Fair (Chatsworth, Derbyshire)

September 2019

  • 29 September, The Malvern Autumn Show (Worcestershire)

For schedules, please visit The Agilitynet Show Diary.

Agria Pet Insurance, recently awarded Pet Insurance Provider of the Year and Best Claims Service at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards 2019, is one of the few insurers to cover dogs while they work. This includes agility dogs during training, travelling to events and competing.

Agria strongly believes in animals leading full, happy and healthy lives, and so supporting agility is a natural match. Agility training enriches dogs’ lives by giving them a mental and physical outlet, enhancing their level of focus and self-assurance while encouraging a strong owner/ animal bond. Agria is proud to support an activity that fosters such positive outcomes.



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