Shrewsbury star crowned winner of Starters Cup final class at Discover Dogs in London

Lee Gibson from Shrewsbury, Shropshire and his dog, Chica De Espo (Chica) won the Starters Cup final for Small dogs at London’s biggest dog event, Discover Dogs, supported by Royal Canin, at ExCeL London at the weekend.

The Starters Cup, The Kennel Club’s premier agility competition for dogs new to agility, was created for dogs in Grades 1 and 2 of the discipline. The top six large dogs together with the top six intermediate, six medium and six small dogs, who qualified at The Kennel Club International Agility Festival at Rutland Showground in August, took part in the exciting final but only one was crowned winner in each height.

Delighted owner, Lee said: “Winning at Discover Dogs was definitely a great feeling/ I’m lucky enough to have competed at many major finals over the years but I’ve never actually competed at Discover Dogs. The final was enjoyable Chica ran really well for both the jumping and agility rounds, which made me very proud as we put in a lot of hard work over the last year getting Chica ready to compete in the ring, so to go on to win at Discover Dogs was an added bonus.

“Running a Miniature Pinscher is certainly very different to the large dogs I’ve run with previously but I think we have a bright future together! Chica has proved no matter how small or tiny you are, you can achieve great things! I hope we can inspire others to try and qualify for Discover Dogs and to have a great experience, like we did!”

Vanessa McAlpine, Events Executive at The Kennel Club said: “The Starters Cup is a fantastic competition for those handlers and their dogs who are fairly new to agility. It’s inspiring to see potential agility stars of the future getting the opportunity to compete in front of big crowds at Discover Dogs and we congratulate Chica and Lee for winning their final against so many other talented competitors.”
Discover Dogs, sponsored by Royal Canin, took place on 20 and 21 November at ExCeL London. For further information, please visit the Discover Dogs website.

To find out more about getting started in dog agility, visit The Kennel Club website, and to enter the Starters Cup next year, please attend The Kennel Club International Agility Festival next year between 11 – 14 August 2022.