The Earliest Agility Test
Check out the photograph
that was taken at the very first
after it was originally performed at Crufts Dog Show in February 1978. Spot any
An Early Agility Test in B/W
This photograph (left) 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
from 22 years ago? Extra points if you can find more and a bone-us if you can name the
judge and handler. (09/10/00)
The First Ever
Agility Course at Crufts 1978
Ever wonder about those early days of agility? In his book
to Judge Agility, Peter Lewis, one of the founders of the sport, claims that in the
beginning no one had a clue about developing the art of agility. For the first year,
they floundered through but had a lot of fun doing so. A rare glimpse
into agility history when handlers and their dogs
made up the game as they went along. How things have changed!
Thank you to Peter Lewis for
preserving and sharing the first course ever run at Crufts.
The True Facts by Peter Lewis
Dog agility is a fairly new sport, created merely as a demonstration in the
late 1970s in the UK. Little did Peter Meanwell think in 1977 when
John Varley asked him for assistance in devising an entertainment for the audience between the
Obedience and Breed competitions in the main ring at Crufts that the largely jumping style
course would develop into an international national dogging sport. The rest, as they say, is
John Gilbert - A Tribute 1942 - 2017
People new to
Agility may not have recognised the well dressed,
slightly built man with a pencil moustache and a permanent smile on his face
often seen at shows across the country. Nor would they have known about his
immeasurable contribution to the our
sport. His name was John Gilbert, and he was there when Agility was just a sideshow
to the main event. He went on to played an important part in the history our
sport and did much to influence what we do today.
Steve Croxford, Vice Chairman of the
Board of the Kennel Club , tells us a little more about his life and
Gerald Fox Was There
Fox was a member of Lincolnshire Alsatian All Breeds Training Society when Peter Meanwell put together a team to do a demonstration at Crufts. It was meant to be a one-off, but
instead it has become an annual international agility event on the dog calendar.
It was a long time ago and something he will always remember.
Peter Lewis Founding Father
Lindy Margach speaks to one of the
'founding fathers' of our sport – the legendary Peter Lewis about what he remembers about
the early days, how it developed and what he thinks is the future.
Lewis In Retrospect
A short summary of
Peter Lewis' life could read something like... got a dog, trained it, won a few
trials, wrote some books, developed rules for some new dog pastimes, visited
some countries promoting them, owned some more dogs, reinvented his interests
and made a success of that, too. But, as with most people, there is much more to
his life than this. Steve Croxford looks back and reflects upon what Peter meant to the
It may have been John Varley's
idea to do a dog jumping competition to fill the spare time in the Crufts
Main Arena between the Obedience Championship and the Group Breed judging, but
it was left to Peter Meanwell to organise the demonstration. He turned to his
long-time friend Trevor Jones of the Yorkshire Working Trials Club to provide a team of
four dogs. Trevor wrote this brief account for Agilitynet about the first
time he heard of Agility.
We Happy Few
you know that the person placed in charge of running Crufts 1978 Main Ring
events knew nothing about dog training? Instead, he had horse background. He,
therefore, asked senior Kennel Club staff if there was someone who could put
together a 'dog jumping event' similar to Show Jumping for horses and was pointed
in the direction of Peter Meanwell. And that's how Peter Meanwell became one of
Agility's founding fathers, and rightly so. Peter Lewis was
there to see it all.
John Leslie meets Fred Welham, the man who is
credited with having built the first set of agility equipment from planks of
wood, a door and an old tyre. Reprinted from the July
edition of the Kennel Gazette.