Giving dogs a second chance

DARL Awards Announced

Congratulations to all the winners of the first annual Dog Agility Rescue League.

'A  very big thank-you to the companies and the individuals who have sponsored the 2006 awards and to everyone who has helped to make the League a reality especially the person who designed and maintains the online points system,'  said Karen Fuller on the internet. 'Also thank-you to all the members who have taken part in the League, as without you there would not be one.'

Registration for 2007 will be open on 1 January 2007. Existing members will need to update details.

All Award Winners


  1. Andrea Cutler with Breezer Teaser

  2. Rachel Bignall with Ready Jedi

  3. Peter Edney with Magic Millie


  1. Tracey Warren with Traymaks Blue

  2. Emily Barnes with Sparkling Lucas

  3. Sally Rhoda with Rocket Pocket Poacher


  1. Deena Freeman with Jake a Chance

  2. Bridgitte Wyre with Bright Future

  3. Anna Burton with Dana’s True Spirit


  1. Leah Gardner with Chaffords Herbal Illusion

  2. Ian Dobison with Ag.Ch. Call Me Mr ‘T’

  3. Marc Saunders with The Dark Dasher of Clybonn


  1. Alison Harwood with Tuxedo Mike

  2. Gemma Morley with Feisty Felicity Martha

  3. Richard Francis with Patience Paddy


  1. James Greenhow with Mixed Up Marley

  2. Heather Leary with Wide Eyed and Legless Mici

  3. Emma Gamble with Forget Me Not


  1. Jo Latham with In The Lap of The Gods

  2. Lynn Parker with Jimmy Whizz  AW

  3. Bridget Jamieson with Maberly May Be


  1. Heidi Windheuser with Cody’s Countless Capers

  2. Sarah Palmer with The Black Velveteer

  3. Peter Crozier with Sonny Short Legs


  1. Nicola Hadaway with Trio Lad

  2. Gemma Morley with Antrio Makethree

  3. Paula Kingswood with Suzi of the Molly Mop Tops


  1. Jennifer Baddley with Miss Tutti Fruiti

  2. Julia Kearney with Speedway Shale

  3. Neville Todd with Home Alone Remy


  1. Veronica Brown with Little Zac of Valgray

  2. Andrew Garratt with Charlie I Am No Angel

  3. Gill Zuczkowska with Maggot Racer


  1. Mandy-Sue Sarti with Tear Around Tilley

  2. Helen Davey-Smith with Rescue Me Henry

  3. Susie Josty with Ag.Ch. Spratt Attack


  1. Lizzie Langwade with Maximillian Jack in the Box

  2. Rachel Bignall with Ready Jedi

  3. Carrie Ellwood with Half Pint Hazel

                                OTHER AWARDS

ABC (Large)   Andrea Cutler with Breezer Teaser
Gundog Becky Atkinson with Wild Gossamer
X-Breed (Large Elem) Stephanie Shane with Liquorice Loon
X-Breed (Large Starters) Tracey Warren with Traymaks Blue
X-Breed (Large Novice)  Bridgitte Wyre with Bright Future
X-Breed (Large Senior) Hege Hurdwell with Snazzy Tazzy
Agilitynet Deena Freeman with Jake a Chance
Wiccaweys Helen Norton with Wiccaweys High Jinx
Defa's Award Tracey Hopper with  Pure & Simple


 Nominate Your Dog for Defa's Prize!

Defa's Award, sponsored by Patch Guipago, is for the most improved rescue dog, completing the road to quality of life against the odds. This does not have to be agility related in terms of achievement.

Defa, a deaf Border Collies, has been Patch's inspiration and is one of the reasons that she was keen to support the Dog Agility Rescue League. His story is below.

Now she is sponsoring Defa's Award and looking for one dog out of the hundreds of dogs registered on the League to be the recipient of the prize.

This award is not based on points or placings. In fact, the winner may not have even had a clear round yet! It's meant to acknowledge a special dog which has overcome whatever difficulties it's had in the past a dog has overcome up to the point where is it now able to do agility with its new owner.

That special dog/owner partnership could be you or someone else you know who may not realise how amazing their part has been in giving their dog a great future! All you have to do is write your/their story in as much detail as you think relevant and click on Patch's name at the bottom of the News page on the DARL web site.  There is no real maximum length. Just tell the story as it happened.

The award is a large trophy which will be engraved for the winner. Their dog's story and pictures will go on the webpage along with whatever Karen puts on for the other award winners.

Defa's Story

Defa was bought from a breeder but had difficulties in his home from the start. His family, despite owning him for a year, did not realise he had been born deaf. They approached a rescue, saying he 'unruly and ignorant, unresponsive to commands, and very demanding'. It was there that his deafness was confirmed. With the words uttered, 'Deaf dogs are useless,' poor Defa was left there and then. His lead was dropped and the family he had grown up with simply walked away.

The rescue took him in and set about finding him a home. Many were interested, but after a year of being shunned and pushed away for not doing anything asked of him, he was quite a handful. No one could communicate with him.

After ten months in rescue, the rescue organisation approached Patch as she already had a deaf dog. She agreed to give him a home, sight unseen. When he arrived, she was stunned by how lovely but thin he was. The stress of not having a permanent home had taken its toll. He had severe stomach problems and could not absorb his food properly.

Gradually, as Defa realised he really was home, he started to relax and grew in confidence. His compromised digestive health, then his weight, improved steadily and we were well on the road to losing his insecurities. His training then really came easily. All he wanted in life was to communicate and be understood and to be given guidance and love. He craved learning.

Eventually, I found an Agility club and he took to it like the proverbial duck to water. Within a month, he was taking part in displays, often being the dog the audiences most wanted to meet. He is such a crowd pleaser – and boy does he know it! We began competing, and, though I make plenty of handling errors which rob him of the placings he might have been able to achieve otherwise, his own achievement is far greater in that he, as well as all the other deaf dogs in agility around the country and abroad, has been among the number of great ambassadors to show that deaf dogs really can shine like any other dog.

Dog Agility Rescue League Points Reminder

If you registered with the League but have not yet submitted any points, you still have time to enter points from the 2006 season. The deadline is 21 December 2006.

To add your points online, please email Karen Fuller for a password  To see your total visit

DAR League Finals Report
From Karen Fuller

Our Judge for the day was Norman Love and Jenny Thorpe was our scrime. The competition format was an Agility course in the morning and a Jumping course in the afternoon with the overall result’s based on the places gained in each round.

 As I started to unpack the trophies, paperwork etc. in the marquee, it suddenly hit me that it was, at last, a reality. In the weeks before the final I had various problems that were beyond my control and, with the last minute preparations, I had turned from quite an organised person into a rather useless bystander.

Everyone started to arrive and organising themselves with jobs and a real team spirit emerged. Inside the marquee while I watched the dogs and fiddled nervously with arranging trophies and rosettes, the team took over and worked their magic. Outside the marquee a real sense of camaraderie amongst the finalist was taking place with everyone supporting each other and calming their nerves.

The forecast had been for rain, but the sun made a welcome appearance and the ring soon saw a steady stream of spectators, from members of the public to friend's and family of the finalists. With Barry Harveys excellent commentary, it all made for a really great atmosphere and sense of occasion.

The competition
The first category was Elementary and Norman set a really nice flowing course, a theme which continued with each category. Lucy Clifton and Pie (who she rehomed after seeing him in the Agility Voice and has only just started to compete) were to start the day by being the ‘white dog and handler.' They worked the course really well and I am sure she will be in the Finals with him next year.

As the competition got underway, I was really impressed by the standard of the Elementary dogs and their handlers, which confirmed that my decision not to combine this category with the Starters was the right one. The Large section had Elementary, Starters, Novice and Senior. Due to the lower numbers, the Medium and Small dogs were split into Novice and Senior with dogs from Elementary and Starters invited to compete in the Novice section. As the categories changed, the courses were tweaked to suit each level and by 1.30pm the Agility section was over and people were anxious to see just what was required for the Jumping section.

After lunch Norman set the Elementary Jumping course, which was to be the basis for all the standards, a flowing course which required more handling as the levels got higher. As the results were combined everyone had a chance to go for it and they did! The dogs flew round as some pushed for speed which led to some fantastic rounds.

The hard luck story of the morning was a Collie who was suddenly spooked by something half way round the course. Up until that point she was clear but she really was quite upset. Speaking with her owner after the round he had never known her to do this, and it was nice to see her back in the ring and on form in the Jumping round. Also Paul Moore who has really supported the league and helped with getting the venue for the Final, was struck down with 'Man Flu' and was unable to run Tyke in it. His partner Kate Smith stepped in though and finished in a very creditable third Place in the Senior section.

It was really nice to finally put faces to names and to share a few kisses with the dogs  and I would like to thank everyone involved for making this a really special day. I know from the emails with letters just how many of you enjoyed it and thank you all for your donations for the unexpected expenses.

Our sponsors were really generous and Dog Games provided eight sets of trophies (1st - 3rd). A huge rosette for every finalist was presented in each category. They were due to attend the Hop Farm, but sadly broke down on the way.

Burns provided bags of food for 1st, 2nd with 3rd along with a bag of treats for every dog while Trixie provided 40 toys for the higher placed dogs.

The winners of each section were:

  • Large Elementary - Rachel Bignall with Ready Jedi

  • Large Starters - Sally Rhoda with Pocket Rocket Poacher

  • Large Novice - Bob Sharpe with Flynn's Little Sweetheart

  • Large Senior - Rita Johnson with Gotta Go Jo Jo

  • Medium Novice - Kimberley Hampsheir with Ted The Terror

  • Medium Senior - Heidi Windheuser with Cody's Countless Capers

  • Small Novice - Gill Zuckowska with Maggot Racer

  • Small Senior - Mandy-Sue Sarti with Teararound Tilley

    Ted the Terror

Mandy-Sue Sarti with Teararound Tilly
Sally RHoda with Pocket Rocket Poacher Bob Sharpe with Meg

The 2006 League is still running and the end of year awards will collated and announced in December. 


Results of the DARL Finals

The winners of the first DARLeague Finals were:-

  • Large Elementary - Rachel Bignall with Ready Jedi
  • Large Starters - Sally Rhoda with Pocket Poacher
  • Large Novice - Bob Sharpe with Flynn's Little Sweetheart
  • Large Senior - Rita Johnson with Gotta Go Jo Jo
  • Medium Novice - Kimberley Hampsheir with Ted The Terror
  • Medium Senior - Heidi Windheuser with Cody's Countless Capers
  • Small Novice - Gill Zuckowska with Maggot Racer
  • Small Senior - Mandy-Sue Sarti with Teararound Tilley

The Final took place at the Paws in the Park show at The Hop Farm, Kent on 24 September. It was an invitation event based on the points gained up to the end of September. Report to follow.

The Agilitynet 'Rescue Me' special award will go to the highest-placed dog in the Rescue Agility League which was homed via the Agilitynet 'Rescue Me' page. League points will be taken at 31 December 2006.

 JULY 2006

Venue Announced for DARL Final

It has taken a while but after months of trying Karen Fuller has have secured a venue to host a Final for the DAR League The Finals will be held at Paws in the Park, The Hop Farm, Kent.

Although the location may not be ideal for everyone being located so far south, but after quite a few rejections, it was looking as if a Final was unlikely this year. It may be worth the trip though as there is a KC licenced show being run, Clever Dogs, lots of other dog activities and lovely exercise areas for the dogs.

The Finals will be run as an Invitational Event and the finer details will be published on the website soon. The date will be either 23 or 24 September as soon as it has been confirmed with the organisers. Details of the event can be found at

Qualification for Invitation will be based on points which must be entered/submitted from Kennel Club Shows up to and including the 31 August 2006.

If any one can help with sponsorship or donation, please contact me at

Current League Leaders
July 2006




Large Elementary

Ready Jedi (WSD)

Rachel Bignall

Large Starters

Rocket Pocket Poacher (X)

Sally Rhoda

Large Novice

Persian Spice (WSD)

Brad Moyler

Large Senior/Advanced

The Dark Dasher of Clybonn (WSD)

Marc Saunders

Medium Elementary

Tuxedo Mike (X)

Alison Harwood

Medium Starters

Mixed up Marley (X)

James Greenhow

Medium Novice

In The Lap of The Gods (WSD)

Jo Latham

Medium Senior/Advance

Sonny Short Legs (X)

Peter Crozier

Small Elementary

Trio Lad (Cavalier)

Nicola Hadaway

Small Starters

Speedway Shale (X)

Julia Kearney

Small Novice

Little Zac of Valgray (X)

Veronica Brown

Small Senior/Advanced

Tear Around Tilley (X)

Mandy-Sue Sarti

First DARL Results

The online points system has really got underway now and the current leaders in the large categories are as follows:-

Large Elementary

  1. Magic Millie (WSD) - Peter Edney = 206
  2. Breezer Teaser (Dobermann) - Andrea Cutler = 146
  3. Topsy Turvy Tess (X) - Laura Drysdale = 124

Large Starters

  1. Ripster Pipster (WSD) - Steve Hoddinott = 315
  2. Rabbie Border Rebel (Border Collie) - Pam Parry = 186
  3. Wild Gossamer (ESS) - Becky Atkinson = 174

Large Novice

  1. Persian Spice (WSD) - Brad Moyler = 263
  2. Chaffords Hyper Connection (WSD) - Leah Gardner = 210
  3. Blighty Bhaiti (X) - Brad Moyler = 191

Large Senior/Advanced

  1. Super Sensational Stubby (WSD) - Phil Robinson = 324
  2. Omni buzz (WSD) - Sue Marsh = 282
  3. The Dark Dasher of Clybonn (WSD) - Marc Saunders = 215

Other categories can be viewed at

The Online Points System Goes Live

The DARL Online Points System is now live. Here you can enter your points and view the league tables. If you have not yet registered go to The Dog Agility Rescue League web site where you'll also find details of the League rules, the points system, new awards and news.

The latest count is 497 dogs entered into the League.

Register Now for 2006

There are now over 250 registrations for the RDA League. Anyone wanting to register for the league please could you do so sooner rather than later as it would be a great help to me with the admin. You can register online by going toe RDA web site.

Calling All Juniors...

Due to some interest amongst junior handlers, there will be a Junior Section for dogs registered with the League. Email Pam Ellwood for details.

New Agility League for Rescue Dogs Launched

A new agility league specifically for rescue dogs has been announced. Its aim is to celebrate the achievements of re-homed dogs in agility.

To be eligible for the league, your dog just has to have been re-homed - it does not have to have come from a rescue organisation. Many dogs are re-homed throughout the agility world by word of mouth so the only criteria is that 'if you did not have it, where would it be now?'

It is planned to have awards at every level and a 'special' award for dogs re-homed through the Rescue Me page on Agilitynet, sponsored by (who else) Agilitynet. In addition, each month a different rescue dog of the month will be featured on the web site.

Depending on how popular the league becomes there may even be a chance to compete for a place in a Rescue Dog Agility Final - it really depends on the number of people who register. So if you compete with a 'reject mutt,' however you came to own it, please make sure you register, using the form below.

And watch this space.

Any donation, however small, would be welcome. Please make any cheques payable to 'The Rescue Dog Agility League'.

To enter, please complete the form on the Rescue Dog Agility League site, where you'll also find details of the League rules, the points system, and news on what's happening including BBC filming for Crufts and the first two stories of top-performing rescue dogs in agility.

Thank you to Gina Graham for designing the new Rescue Dog Agility League logo.


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