Sam, a Jack Russell/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross, and his owner 16 year-old Lucas Irwin-Burns from Brighton, East Sussex took home an overall bronze medal in the small individual competition at the European Open Junior Championships in Netherlands last weekend.
Lucas, who is a Young Kennel Club (YKC) member and was representing YKC Agility Team GB with Sam, placed 5th in the agility round and 12th in the jumping round which saw the pair take home an overall bronze medal.
Other successes for YKC Agility Team GB included 14 year-old Emilia Bowers and her Border Collie, Squiffy who won a bronze medal in the individual children large jumping round; 14 year-old Rory Tidmarsh and his Border Collie, Sonic who took home a bronze in the Junior large jumping round and 17 year-old Camryn Macleod and her Working Cocker Spaniel, Ruby who won a bronze medal in the individual medium agility round.
The European Open Junior Agility Championships attracted over 500 handlers from all over the world, with countries represented at the competition including the USA, Japan and Russia. This was the third time a junior team from Britain made up of YKC members has competed at the championships.
YKC Agility Team GB is sponsored by the Kennel Club, CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds, DOG StreamZ, Nottingham Trent University, Agility1st, First Contact, Eurotunnel and Pet Rehab. The coaching team consisted of Mark Laker (Team Manager), Paul Moore (Team Coach), Ann Roberts (Team Assistant), Neil Ellis (Team Coordinator), Josie Spurling (Team Coordinator) and Rachel Mowbray (Team Vet), who travelled to the Netherlands with them.
Agility Team GB Manager, Mark Laker said of their achievement: “This has been a successful trip for the team. We’ve come away with podium places in individual classes, and a bronze overall medal in the small individual competition. There was an amazing team spirit and camaraderie amongst the whole team with the handlers and parents being very supportive to each other. Thank you to the Kennel Club and our sponsors for investing in our country’s young handlers. Great Britain are a great team.”
Ceri Rundle, CSJ’s founder and sponsor of YKC Agility Team GB, said: “Huge congratulations to all our young handlers and their amazing dogs for an impressive performance at the European Open Junior Championships. The team worked so hard and it was impressive to watch them in action over the weekend. CSJ is extremely proud to sponsor such a talented team and we want to wish them all the best of luck in the future.”
Matt Campbell, founder of DOG StreamZ, commented: “Huge congratulations to the YKC Agility Team GB squad on their achievements at the European Open Championships last weekend. We were very impressed with the level of skill, determination and passion our handlers and their dogs had and are excited to see what futures lie ahead for each and every one of them. Go Team GB!”
The European Open Junior Championship will be held in Switzerland in 2019. Details on the 2018 squad selection process will be available in due course.