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Discover Dogs Agility Judges Report

17 December 2015    11:00

Discover Dogs Agility Judges Report by Dave Deaville

It was a great honour to be invited to judge at this year's Discover Dogs.  This was my first visit to Discover Dogs and also the first time the show was held at the Excel Centre in the London docklands.

As the majority of the events were based on a combined score over two runs I wanted to test a balance of skills over both courses with the morning jumping runs being open & flowing to showcase speed and then the agility runs requiring a larger degree of handling. 

The exception was the pairs final which was about speed and fun all the way.

Saturday Morning

Saturday morning started with the Medium ABC Jumping semi-final and this course really suited all the dogs resulting in 16 clears from the 19 competitors, with the only faults being incurred in the weaves. A super run by Hannah Banks and Basileas Little Bing won the class.

This was followed by the first Small - Mixi Pairs Relay run where there were seven double clears resulting in a win for Alan & Selena Bray.

The morning concluded with the first of two YKC Crufts Agility Qualifiers.  There were some super runs here resulting in wins in the various categories for Annabel Haith, Amy Challis, Isabella Baigent, Katie Lines and Stacey Frost.

Saturday Afternoon

The afternoon events started with the Medium ABC Agility round with all 19 handlers still in with a chance of qualifying for Crufts. There were nine further clears here with a win for Lara Staplehurst and Alfee's Surprise.  The combined scores resulted in an overall win for Tash Poddubecki and Lady of Croftmoor with Lara Staplehurst in second place.

Saturday finished with the Small - Mixi Pairs Relay again and another fast exciting competition that the spectators really enjoyed.  The baton became too hot to handle for a couple of unfortunate pairs but there was a further eleven clears with Claire Burrell & Samantha Lane running out winners.  However, by achieving a first and second place meant that the overall winners for the second year running were Alan & Selena Bray with Upanova Dior Mine and Shanandi One and Only, Ashleigh Butler & Gemma Haycock were runners up and Alan Bray and Louise Challis came third.

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning brought two new competitions and first in the ring was the Starters Cup Jumping.  There were 14 clears from 24 finalists across the three heights with wins for Becky Foster, Nicola Bradshaw and Scarlet Baguley.

Completing the morning was the Large Novice ABC. Again an excellent display with 13 clears from 20 runs with Selena Bray & Starsofmars Phar Lap a clear winner.

Sunday Afternoon

The afternoon commenced with YKC Agility again.  There were 6 clears from 15 runs with the small winner being Lucy Maguire & Racing Robin and winning both Medium and Large was Shannon Springfield with Shansdream a Gift of Love and Castomya First Love. 

Shannon Springford winner of the YKC Medium and Large Agility.

 It is difficult to pick out just one performance but an example of what is so good about YKC came from possibly the youngest competitor of the weekend.  Having just turned 7 years old and despite an early elimination, Kourosh Nazimi worked his dog round the course with skill and a great determination and crossed the finish line to one of the loudest cheers of the weekend. He is just one of the many junior handlers to watch out for in the future.

Next up was the Large ABC Agility with Selena Bray who was enjoying a very successful weekend once again coming home the quickest of seven clears to win which gave her a decisive overall win to qualify for Crufts 2016 in style. Sarah Graham with Relver's Jumping Geordie was runner up.

Completing the day was the Starters Cup Agility where there were 12 clears here with wins for Becky Foster, Nicola Bradshaw and Gabriella Barrett.  The overall winners were Becky Foster with Starquin Brandy Snaptoit in large, Nicola Bradshaw and Mr Jay Tee in medium and Emma Hewerdine with Jetpack Jess in small.

My thanks go to all the ring crew who did a superb job all weekend with great humour.

Finally congratulations once again to all the competitors who contributed to a very enjoyable and positive weekend. 

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