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UK Agility Reports

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Two programmes in which to achieve Championship status

Beginners Steeplechase Invitation Challenge 2007 

The inaugural Beginners Steeplechase Challenge took place on the Sunday evening, 27 August at the UKA Staverton show. According to UKA rules, Steeplechase is a fast and flowing class consisting only of jumps (not including spread or long jumps) and pipe tunnels (not including collapsible tunnel). Steeplechase is a completely difference programme from the other UKA program which includes Agility, Jump and Games.

Handlers who had placed in the first four in the Beginners Steeplechase classes during the UKA Nationals Week, UKA Cornwall weekend or in the Beginners class on the day were invited to take part at the launch of this event. Within the UKA rules, this included new dogs with new handlers and new dogs with experienced handlers so the evening saw a complete mix of handlers at different levels. Some who had only just started to compete with their very first dog while others had seen a bit of grass under their feet.

The event was judged by Di Gorton and began around 5.00pm after all the classes for the day had finished. Heights and running orders had been drawn. The evening thus began with a white dog (with spots) - followed by the Maxi (biggest) dogs.

The competition
First to go was Dalton Meredith with Louis, a 3 year Flatcoat X. They were the first clear in a time of 22.28 seconds. The Maxi dogs seemed to enjoy the course with the majority of them getting round quick and clear. Andy Sandercock was the overall winner with his young dog Kyp in a time of 20.57 seconds

We then moved onto the Toys where we had Border Terriers, Miniature Poodles and various combinations of crossbreeds. Jean Young with 18 month old crossbreed put in a nice clear round but they were pipped by new handler Ben Foxall and Molly, his lovely Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, in a time of 24.41.

The third height category to the start line were the Midi dogs. Evelyne Thomas and her Italian Greyhound captured the crowd, putting in a nice clear in 23.73 seconds which put her eventually into 4th place. Winning the height, however, was Valerie Perkins with Leon, her 2yr old Italian Greyhound X Jack Russell in a time of 21.17 seconds.

The final height was, therefore, the Standards. This height was to prove fiercely competitive and included some well known names Shaun Hunt, Nicola Garrett and Greg Derrett.  Shaun was running Floss who belongs to Tace Allen. Unfortunately although clear, Floss decided that she knew her Mum was hiding over by the ringside so was slightly distracted at the beginning of her run. Cyd Griffin ran brother and sister Banyo and Bel, having qualified both dogs.

Pete Richards with his young dog Dee put in a cracking round in a time of 20.44 seconds. However, this was not fast enough for this height category. Nicola Garrett and Wych came in with an excellent at 20.31 but they were not able to beat the overall winner Greg Derrett with Detox in a time of  20.17 seconds. This young dog put in some very neat and tight turns.

Thank you
We must thank CSJ for putting together some winners packs and other goodies for the top three in each of the heights and hope to see more young dogs take part in the qualifying heats that will take place in 2008 with the Beginners Steeplechase Challenge Final. The 2008 event will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.