Young agility handlers and dogs break records at Junior Open Agility World Championships

Young Kennel Club (YKC) Agility Team GB win five gold medals, securing the team’s highest success to date

The Young Kennel Club (YKC) Agility Team GB made history this weekend after winning five gold, five silver and two bronze medals at the Junior Open Agility World Championships, which were held in Southam, Warwickshire between 14 – 16 July.

10-year-old Isabella Taylor and her English Springer Spaniel, Twiglet, from Daventry, Northamptonshire (Under 12 Intermediate Individual); 17-year-old Dylan Osborne and his Cocker Spaniel, Jelly, from Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire (Under 19 Small Individual); and 15-year-old Mia Steedman and her Border Collie, Rosie, from Brigg, Lincolnshire (Under 19 Intermediate Individual) all took gold in their respective categories. Team gold medals were also won by the Blue Team in the Medium category, and the Black Team in the Large category. The teams were comprised of:

Blue Team

18-year-old Amelie Selby-Bird & Working Cocker Spaniel, Dex, from Whitstable, Kent

15-year-old Maximilian Glover & Crossbreed, Woody, from Market Drayton, Shropshire

15-year-old Taylor Lyon & Working Cocker Spaniel, Elliott, from Northampton

18-year-old William Bacchus & Cocker Spaniel, Rudi, from Holsworthy, Devon

Black Team

17-year-old Isabella Cox & Working Sheepdog cross, Rio, from Ferndown, Dorset

15-year-old Maximilian Glover & Border Collie, Pink, from Market Drayton, Shropshire

18-year-old Sophie Atkinson & Working Sheepdog, Maddie, from Billinghay, Lincolnshire

15-year-old Yvie Thompson & Border Collie, Epic, from Horsham, West Sussex

In addition, silver medals were secured by 14-year-old Mia Fairweather, from Kinross, and her Shetland Sheepdog, Zip in the Under 15 Small Individual category; 12-year-old Isabella Twigg, from Reading, Berkshire and her Collie/Retriever cross Roo in the Under 15 Large Individual category; and 15-year-old Max Glover, from Market Drayton, Shropshire and his Crossbreed, Woody in the Under 19 Medium Individual category. 18-year-old Blair Hands, from Forfar, Angus and his Shetland Sheepdog Rapid also won a bronze medal in the Under 19 Small Individual category.

There was further success among the team categories, with the Green, Black and Purple teams all awarded silver medals, and the Red team secured a bronze medal. The teams were comprised of:

Green Team

17-year-old Demi Wright & Border Collie, Rhythm, from Norfolk

18-year-old Grace Watts & Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Orry from Epsom, Surrey

17-year-old Isabella Cox & Border Collie, Dust, from Ferndown, Dorset

15-year-old Mia Steedman & Border Collie, Rosie, from Brigg, Lincolnshire

Purple Team

15-year-old Chloe Cooper & Belgian Shepherd (Groenendael), Hettie, from Stoke-on-Trent

15-year-old Maximilian Glover & Border Collie, Beat, from Market Drayton, Shropshire

17-year-old Morgan Looker & Poodle cross, Rolly, from Albrighton, Shropshire

16-year-old Nia Rose & Labrador Retriever, Farlie, from Usk, Monmouthshire

Red Team

18-year-old Blair Hands & Shetland Sheepdog, Sofi, from Forfar, Angus

15-year-old Chloe Cooper & Crossbreed, Sweep, from Stoke-on-Trent

14-year-old Mia Fairweather & Shetland Sheepdog, Zip, from Kinross, Kinross-shire

18-year-old Sophie Atkinson & Crossbreed, Lulu, from Billinghay, Lincolnshire

The Junior Open Agility Championships, sponsored by Agria Pet Insurance, Galican, and South West Agility Goods, were hosted in the UK for the first time, at Dallas Burston Polo Club, Southam and saw 363 dogs and their handlers from all over the world compete. This was the seventh time a junior team from Great Britain made up of Young Kennel Club (YKC) members competed at the Championships.

YKC Agility Team GB is sponsored by The Kennel Club, Natural Instinct, Galican and Dog Sports Derby. The coaching team consisted of Greg Derrett (Team Manager), Anthony Clarke (Team Coach), Victoria Fraser (Team Vet), Ann Roberts (Safeguarding and Support Officer), and Tina Davies (Results Analyst).

Agility Team GB Manager, Greg Derrett, said of the team’s achievement: “This has been a fantastic year for the team and I am exceptionally proud of our handlers. To bring home 12 medals from the World Championships, including five gold, is a real testament to how hard they have all worked and how dedicated they have been, and it feels extra special to have done so while competing on home turf.

“There’s no doubt that the future for all of our team members is exceptionally bright and I am excited to see what they can achieve.”

Phil Keen, Managing Director of Natural Instinct, sponsor of YKC Agility Team GB, said: “Natural Instinct are proud to sponsor YKC Agility Team GB and we are delighted to learn of their success over the weekend, with the team winning five gold medals! Performances by all were exceptional and we are extremely proud of all those who have competed. Well done!”

Further details on the YKC Agility Team GB, can be found by visiting our website and more information on the Junior Open Agility World Championship can be found by visiting the JOWAC website.

Parents of young dog lovers (aged between 6-24) who may be interested in becoming a member of the Young Kennel Club should visit the Young Kennel Club website for more information.