Team GB Strike Gold in Italy

17th December 2015 - 10:00 AM

FCI World Championships Italy 2015 Report by Mark Laker

We went to Italy feeling confident in all height categories but especially so in the large team category as we were silver medal winners in 2014. Five handlers were new to the World Championships which was for them a fantastic learning and development experience.
The buildup and preparation made this year's World Championships the highlight of many handlers agility career. The venue was fantastic and while smaller than other venues we've been to, created an exciting atmosphere for a competition of this level.

Clearly the highlight of the championships was the large team winning the gold medal.

This was even more exciting as France (last year's winners) finished 3rd overall making this a very close competition. In fact the competition was close right up until the last few dogs ran. I am so proud as to how everyone held their nerve to deliver fast quality runs under real pressure especially as everyone went clear so increasing the pressure on those running later!

Naarah Cuddy's performance in the individual large class was another highlight, this was Naarah's first time at an international competition. She finished 26th in the jumping class and 5th overall. She was in a medal position until the last two dogs ran.

The level of competition in the medium and small height category remains extremely high. Our teams consisted of a mix of experienced and new handlers who worked well together as a team. Natasha Wise and Dizzy (three times world champions) found themselves on fast courses with varying challenging handling options to consider. Other handlers found the courses challenging, very fast and throwing up multiple options. The coaching team will continue to focus their efforts on helping handlers in these height groups develop their skills for international competition.

Team spirit and support for each other was especially good this year. I believe this was down to: the preparations leading up to the event; more room on the coach; a rest day before the competition; well thought through logistics and a team that gelled well together.

A lot was learnt from last years World Championships in Luxembourg. The actions taken to address the feedback received, particularly on logistic and hotel arrangements, paid off!

To say I am thrilled with the team's performance is an understatement - we won the World Cup!

But I firmly believe there is more to come from Agility Team GB. We have the foundations and structure in place which we can build upon for the future and this gives me the confidence to truly believe we will continue to grow stronger each year.

Performance highlights included:

  • Large team - 3rd in jumping round, 2nd in agility round = 1st overall Gold medal. This team won the silver medal in 2014
  • Medium team - 8th overall, an improvement from 15th in 2014
  • Large individual Naarah Cuddy - 5th overall. Highest place in 2014 was Greg & Detox (7th)
  • Matt Goodliffe - top 15 in team jumping
  • Charlotte Harding - top 10 team agility
  • Natasha Wise - 2nd team jumping, 3rd team agility
  • Small team - the team performed well against tough opposition

Thank you to all our wonderful supporters who are growing in numbers each year and came out to cheer and encourage the team on and of course the coaching and support team who were magnificent but especially:

  • Marc Saunders and Natasha Wise for their work before and during the event. Their help managing a team of this size is invaluable. This was Marc's last year on the Coaching Team.
  • Hana McNicolas who stepped in at the last minute to provide veterinary cover on the outbound coach trip. Hana took time off work to support the team which was very much appreciated by the team members.
  • Our sponsors The Kennel Club, CSJ, Gencon,  Agility1st, First Contact, Nottingham Trent University and Eurotunnel Le Shuttleand who make trips like this possible.

Looking forward to 2016!

Mark Laker International Team Manager

Team Members

Small Team 

Kelsey Wood - Reserve

Rosie Cavill and Spice - Team

Clive Foden and Poppy - Team

Lucy Osbourne and Fling - Team

Marc Wingate-Wynn and Big - Team Captain, Team Run

Medium Team 

Christine Wynngate-Wynne & Zev - Team and Individual

Amanda Hampson & Rogue - Team

Natasha Wise & Dizzy - Team Captain, Team and Individual

Julia Durrant and Lily - Reserve

Jenni Machon and Juice - Team and Individual

Large Team

Greg Derrett & Rehab - Team Captain, Team and Individual

Jessica Clarehugh & Cara - Individual and Team

Charlotte Harding & Scandal - Individual and Team

Matt Goodliffe & Quincy - Individual and Team

Alan Wildman & Minx - Team Reserve and Individual

Naarah Cuddy and Sassy - Individual

The Coaching Team

Mark Laker - Team Manager

Marc Saunders - Team Assistant

Maria Johnson - Chiropractor

Ruth MacGill - Handler Fitness Coach

Rachel Richardson - Team Vet

Katy Broes - KC Specialist Support Team


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