Success for young agility handler and dog at European Open Junior Championships 2019

Tariq, a Border Collie, and her owner, 10-year-old Taylor Lyon from Northamptonshire took 4th place in the Large Under 12 Individual competition at the European Open Junior Agility Championships in Switzerland, which took place between the 12th-14th July.

Taylor, who is a Young Kennel Club (YKC) member and was representing YKC Agility Team GB with Tariq,  placed 7th in the Large Under 12 Agility round and 3rd in the Large Under 12 Jumping round, earning the pair a bronze medal.

Other successes for YKC Agility Team GB included Team GB Blue, made up of Lucy Lightowler, Rory Tidmarsh, Thomas Shaw, and Emily Rice-Stringer, who won a gold medal in the Large Team Agility round. 15-year-old Rory Tidmarsh and his Border Collie, Mr Red, won a silver medal in the Large Individual U19 Agility round; Team GB Union Jacks, made up of Stacey Frost, Sarah Kirk, Jack Ryan, and Millie Sawyer placed 7th overall in the Small Teams competition; and Lucas Irwin-Burns and Taylor Lyon, as part of International Team 2, were awarded a bronze medal for their Medium Team Jumping round.

The Junior European Open Agility Championships attracted nearly 500 dogs and handlers from all over the world, with countries represented at the competition including the USA, Japan and Finland. This was the fourth time a junior team from Britain made up of YKC members competed at the championships.

YKC Agility Team GB is sponsored by the Kennel Club, Natural Instinct and Pet Rehab. The coaching team consisted of Mark Laker (Team Manager), Josie Spurling (Team Coach), Rachel Mowbray (Team Vet), Ann Roberts (Team Liaison), and Jen Slade (Team Assistant) who travelled to Switzerland with them. 

Agility Team GB Manager, Mark Laker said of their achievement: “I’m thrilled that the YKC Agility Team GB have had another successful championships against some of the top young handlers in FCI competitions. Achieving clear rounds at this level is a big achievement and winning podium places is like a dream coming true. Rory, Taylor, Lucas, Lucy, Emily and Thomas performed extraordinarily well.

“Winning at this level is a team effort. All the handlers brought their own unique characters and support to this successful team who have been fantastic to work with.”

Emma Cooper, of Natural Instinct, sponsor of YKC Agility Team GB, said: “On behalf of Natural Instinct, we’d like to congratulate everyone on their results at the EOJ. We are proud to sponsor this fantastic team and are excited to see what the future holds for these amazing athletes!”

The European Open Junior Championship will be held in Finland in 2020. Details of the squad selection process can be found on the Young Kennel Club website -