Agility stars crowned winners at Crufts 2022

Four agility dogs competing in The Kennel Club British Open at Crufts were crowned overall winners yesterday (Thursday March 10), in their respective categories for small, medium, intermediate and large dogs.

Sizzle (Set the Pace of Summergarden), a Shetland Sheepdog, and owner Katrina Hands, from Forfar, Scotland, won The Kennel Club British Open for small dogs. Delighted owner Katrina said: “Sizzle is a dog of a lifetime. She is amazing. It is the first year we have done agility at Crufts. She has had a phenomenal season. I know she is very consistent, it was just a case of if we manage to do enough overall to win it overall, which was really good.

“I’ve been to Crufts many times, with my kids competing in the Young Kennel Club, so it’s good to be back here.”

Wyllow (Little Miss Woo Woo), a Border Collie/Cocker Spaniel cross, and owner Aemillia Nicholson, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, have won The Kennel Club British Open for medium dogs. Thrilled owner Aemillia said: “We are super excited. This is her second major win in the past four months. We are super proud! The first 18 months of her life was spent training and she has been competing since then. All the hard work is now paying off.”

It is just really cool to be able to travel again and compete in national competitions. It’s nice to see a lot of familiar faces and be back in this environment.

“The result might not have gone the way everyone would have wanted but everyone is just happy to be here.”

Fate (AG CH Dare to Dream It Must Be Fate), a Border Collie, and owner Stephanie Best, from Bournemouth, Dorset, have won The Kennel Club British Open for intermediate dogs. Overjoyed owner and trainer Stephanie said: “It is amazing. I feel very, very happy. I was hoping that she would win because she won the semi-final to get to the final, but you just never know. It could have been anybody’s competition, but she managed to win.

“I am very, very proud at the moment of her. It is so cool to win. Fate is very loving but also independent. It has been a good day for us.”

Spy (Devongem Pure Genius), a Border Collie, and owner Mike Bendell, from Bristol, have won the Kennel Club British Open for large dogs.

Proud owner Mike said: “I wasn’t expecting to win. There are faster dogs out there and he is just very consistent, and that really benefited us today. He was good over two runs and that’s what you needed. He is a one in a million dog!

“I am drained both physically and emotionally. I am going to go home, have a beer and watch the rest of Crufts on the live stream!

“Spy won the teams in 2020. This is just his just his second appearance at Crufts and he has won again. It’s two for two at the moment. Crufts is the best show in the world!”

The top large, intermediate, medium and small dogs from the British Open competition held at The Kennel Club International Agility Festival last August took part in the finals on Thursday at Crufts.

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Many congratulations to all four winners on their fantastic success. The duos all demonstrated a wonderful bond and we have no doubt that we’ll see more of them at future agility competitions.”

For more information and results from the show, visit the Crufts website.