Success For Young Agility Handlers and Their Dogs at European Junior Championships 2017

Young Kennel Club members representing YKC Agility Team GB took home two overall bronze medals after competing at the European Open Junior Championships in Luxembourg from 13th-16th July 2017. 

‘Team GB Blue’ won bronze in the Large team overall on Saturday 15th July, and was made up of 17 year-old Sammy Pegg with her Border Collie, Blaze, 15 year-old Adam Stretton with his Pyrenean Sheepdog, Jet, 16 year-old Jess Cuthbertson with her Border Collie, Skye and 15 year-old Belle Howlett with her Border Collie, Ami. The team placed ninth in the agility round and fifth in the jumping, and their combined score meant they were able to take home the overall bronze medal for the Large team.

18 year-old Shannon Springford and her Border Collie, Anya won an overall bronze medal on Sunday 16th July after placing fourth in the agility round and eighth in the jumping round. She also won a gold medal in the individual Medium junior agility round with her other Border Collie, Gift.

Other successes included 17 year-old Ben Alderson and his Border Collie, Goose winning a gold medal in the individual Large junior jumping round; 13 year-old Rory Tidmarsh with his Border Collie, Sonic who took home a silver medal in the individual Large children’s jumping round and 16 year-old Hannah Thorp who received a bronze medal in the individual Medium junior agility round with her crossbreed, Izzie. ‘Team GB White’ took bronze in the individual Large agility round, which was made up of 15 year-old Sarah Wolverson with her Border Collie, Pace, 15 year-old Amy Challis with her Border Collie, Ireland, 13 year-old Rory Tidmarsh with his Border Collie, Sonic and 12 year-old Mariann Bayliss and her Border Collie, Frankie.

The European Open Junior Agility Championships attracted hundreds of dogs and handlers from all over the world, with 24 countries represented at the competition including the USA, Finland and South Africa. This was the second time a junior team from Britain made up of YKC members has competed at the championships.

YKC Agility Team GB is sponsored by CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds and the Kennel Club. The coaching team consisted of Mark Laker (Team Manager), Paul Moore (Team Coach), Ann Roberts (Team Assistant), Neil Ellis (Team Coordinator) and Rachel Mowbray (Team Vet), who travelled to Luxembourg with them.   

Agility Team GB Manager, Mark Laker said of their achievement: “This year’s YKC Team GB have been fantastic. There was a great team atmosphere across all heights and ages which made us a strong and successful team, building on last year’s performance. I'm really proud of every one of these young handlers, both in the way they handled their dogs and their approach to these championships.”

Ceri Rundle, CSJ’s founder and sponsor of YKC Agility Team GB, said: “Congratulations to all our young handlers and their incredible dogs for a fantastic performance at the European Open Junior Championships. CSJ are very proud to sponsor such a talented team of youngsters, we hope they continue to shine for many years to come!”

The European Open Junior Championship 2018 has been confirmed to be held in the Netherlands from 13th-15th July 2018. Details on the 2017 squad selection process will be available in due course.