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"The Pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity is every difficulty" - Winston churchill

Whats New...  
 ** 27.12.2020 Obedience Page Updated **

AGILITY

What is Agility?

agility

It's fast, furious and a great favourite with competitors and spectators alike. Your dog does not have to be a pedigree dog to compete, but it must be registered with the Kennel Club - either the Breed Register or the Activity Register. There are a minimum of 16 obstacles allowed under Kennel Club Regulations, such as straight forward hurdles, long jump, tunnels, weaving poles, "A" frame, dog walk and a see-saw.

Agility requires the dog to be under the handler's control at all times. Agility classes are run against the clock to ensure that handlers do not take their dogs round the course at a walking pace in the hope of ensuring a clear round.

The setting of a reasonable course time, together with the careful design of the course, allows the dog and handler to show their skill at control and speed.

Agility can become a real addiction. It's fun, friendly and keeps you and your dog in tip-top shape. Most people's first insight to Agility comes from the coverage of Crufts each year and the agility competitions held in December in conjunction with The International Horse Show at London's Olympia. The setting of a reasonable course time, together with the careful design of the course, allows the dog and handler to show their skill at control and speed.

There are over 300 licensed Agility Shows held annually, not to mention the numerous special sponsored events which take place nationwide.

There is no set answer as to which breeds of dog are considered suitable for Agility. Any dog of sufficient size and fitness can traverse all the regulation obstacles, and you will see from watching the various Agility competitions at Crufts that there is a wide variety of breeds competing, each with their differing builds and sizes.

If you decide that Agility is a suitable activity for you and your dog, your next step is to receive some expert training.

Membership and Fees

Annual Membership

£10.00 per year club membership (January - December). Membership is to be paid by the end of January for the full year and includes all members/dogs of same family.

(Click here for Membership Form and Member Benefits & Expectations

Class Fees**

Foundation:  £25.00 per 4 week block

Pre-Competion:  £25.00 per 4 week block

Starters/Graduate Class:  £25.00 per 4 week block

Novice+ Class:  £25.00 per 4 week block

Advanced Class:  £3.00 per class per person

All 4 week blocks must be paid for on week one.

 

**Current Fees During Covid-19 and until further notice:

All classes are £5.00 - payable on the night.

Class Information and Training Times

NOTE:  Please arrive 30 mins before the start time of your class to help with set-up.  Thank you.

Summer Training (From April 2020)

Pre-Competition Class 1

Instructor: Jane Blackwell

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Sunday

Start Time: 10.00am

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This class will teach all the basic agility handling techniques and put them into sequences.  Also covers contacts and weaves

 

Pre-Competition Class 2

Instructor: Mirella Ballestracci

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Tuesday

Start Time: 6.30pm

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This class will teach all the basic agility handling techniques and put them into sequences.  Also covers contacts and weaves

 

Pre-Competition Class 3

Instructor: Jane Blackwell

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Tuesday

Start Time: 10.00am

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This class will teach all the basic agility handling techniques and put them into sequences.  Also covers contacts and weaves

 

Competition Class 1

Instructor:  Izzy Austin

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Wednesday

Start Time: 6.30pm

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This class is for dogs who are ready to compete. Taking the sequences into larger sequences / full courses. Learing how to walk a course / understand the dogs line which helps determine which handling option is best to take. Generally continue to improve on the basic techniques / weaves and contacts.

 

Competition Class 2

Instructor:  Di Shepherd

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Wednesday

Start Time: 6.30pm

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This class is for dogs who are ready to compete. Taking the sequences into larger sequences / full courses. Learing how to walk a course / understand the dogs line which helps determine which handling option is best to take. Generally continue to improve on the basic techniques / weaves and contacts.

 

NovicePlus Class 1

Instructor: Julie Chapman

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Monday

Start Time: 6.30pm

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This is where we start to introduce advanced handling techniques. We also look to fine-tune all aspects of handling and running full courses. Working on course analysis / handling options, fault analysis and setting individual training goals.

 

NovicePlus Class 2

Instructor: Roger Teasdale

Class Duration: 1.5 hrs

Day: Tuesday

Start Time: 10.00am

Max. in Class: 6 dogs

This is where we start to introduce advanced handling techniques. We also look to fine-tune all aspects of handling and running full courses. Working on course analysis / handling options, fault analysis and setting individual training goals.

 

Advanced / Open Class (Currently not running due to Covid-19)

Instructor: None – we all help each other

Class Duration: TBA

Day: TBC

Start Time: TBC

Max. in Class: Unlimited

This class is an open session for Grade 7's and anyone not in any of the above classes. Although no specific instruction is available, due to the experience everyone has, it is envisaged that everyone works together to help each other.

 

 

Winter Training (October 2020 - March 2021)

Winter training is split between an indoor venue and our venue at Foxhills. Classes to be updated September 2020.

 

Meet our Trainers

Julie Chapman   (KCAI Accredited Agility1st Instructor)

trainer_jc

Julie has been competing in agility since 2002 and currently runs her 5 year old Border Collie Tai (Redcharisma Pandemonium) who is currently Grade 6. Julie reached Grade 7 with her now retired Border Collie (Oz). Julie first started competing in 2002 with Saxon, her first ever Border Collie and learnt very early that good solid foundation work is essential if you want to progress through the grades in agility. From then on, she has followed the Greg Derrett Handling System and also follows the Susan Salo's Gridwork Foundation Exercises and Susan Garrett's 2x2 Weave Training. All this combined foundation work took Oz (Indistorm Warning) from Grade 3 to Grade 6 in just 12 months. In 2016 Julie and Oz (and their team mates) won the Kennel Club Crufts Team Agility Large Dogs Final and qualifed the team again for the Large Team Crufts Final in March 2017. Julie has started to look at alternative methods of handling (i.e Euro Handling) and finds the more "tools you have in your toolbox" - the more equipped you will be to handle the challenges that judges are now setting. Julie enrolled on the Agility1st "Instructor" Course which is a KCAI Scheme Preferred Educational Partner (Level III) and is now a KCAI Accredited Agility1st Instruction gaining a "distinction".

Jane Blackwell (KCAI Accredited Agility1st Trainer)

trainer_jb

Jane has been doing agility for over 7 years and competes at Grade 7 with her working cocker spaniel Zola. Zola hasn't been the easiest dog to train, going off to scent for food is her aim, but perseverance, determination and good teachers have helped Jane and Zola achieve great success. Jane has also achieved Gold status in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme in 2016. Janes older dog is a show cocker spaniel Leo, and has dabbled in a range of dog activities. Jane loves teaching both her dogs new tricks. Jane now wants to use her experience to help others achieve their dreams. Jane has recently added a newcomer to her family - Cinnamon, a working cocker spaniel. Jane says she is very excited to be teaching her the groundworks and bascis of agility. Jane enrolled on the Agility1st "Trainer" Course in 2016 and has now passed her theory and practical assessment so is now a qualified Agility1st Trainer. Jane says she is thoroughly enjoying learning how to teach and seeing handlers and dogs progress through the classes at the club.She has learnt new ways of teaching whilst completing the Agility1st Course and will enjoy putting them into practice.

Di Shepherd  (KCAI Accredited Agility1st Trainer)

trainer_ds

Di's background is in horses but decided to "have a go" at agility when she stopped eventing and she was quickly hooked! She started her agility career in 2000 with Scruff her Patterdale Terrier, who despite not being the fastest set of paws, was consistent enough to go to Grade 6 and gain a Silver Agility Warrant. Scruff is now retired and Di is currently training her dog Meli (a young Working Cocker) and starting foundation work with Pip (a rescue Springer). She currently teaches the foundation class and loves seeing dogs and handlers learn and enjoy agility. Di enrolled on the Agility1st "Trainer" Course in 2016 and has now passed her theory and practical assessment so is now a qualified Agility1st Trainer.


Izzy Austin

trainer_ia

Izzy is 18 years old with a natural talent for agility. She started handling first in obedience and then in agility with the family Labrador Libby and then went on to train her own Labrador Willow, so that she could pursue her dreams of competing with her very own dog.  Izzy carefully built solid foundations with Willow; she strongly believes that solid foundations are the beginning of an amazing agility career and bond for handler and dog.

 

In their first year of competing, Izzy and Willow progressed from Grade 1 to Grade 5 competing across the UK in both FCI and KC competitions. They also competed in qualifiers including Olympia, Crufts and the Open Junior Agility Championships. The pair have attained many successes already in their partnership including qualifying for Olympia Novice semi-finals and ABC semi-finals in 2019.  They also qualified in 5 different YKC categories at Crufts 2020 attaining 2nd, 2 x 4th and 5th places. The highlight of Crufts 2020 was winning the adult Large ABC Final in the main arena, an amazing achievement for such a young pair at this world famous event.

 

Izzy also came 3rd and 5th overall for the YKC GB team selection to compete in Finland at the Junior Open Agility World Championships with both of her dogs in 2020. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 this event was cancelled and she is waiting to hear if she will be trying out as a junior or as an adult competitor for the 2021 GB Squad.

 

Izzy's talent with animal is not just in competing, she also has her sights set on a career in working with them as well. In 2020 she completed her Animal Management studies at Bishop Burton and was awarded "Student of the Year" for her outstanding academic achievements and is about to attend university to study an Integrated Master's Degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

 

Izzy is passionate about teaching handlers and their dogs and would like to pass on her experience and knowledge to others so they too can succeed and achieve their goals with their own dogs. Izzy trains using the OneMind Dogs handling system.

 

Mirella Ballestracci (Agility1st Trainer)

trainer_mb

Mirella started doing agility purely for fun in 2013 with her 3 year old Dalmation Morgan and found that working as a team made their bond even stronger. She got the bug and started competing in 2016 at Grade 1 and progressed to Grade 3 in her first year of competing. She and Morgan also achieved Gold in the KC Good Citizen Dog Scheme. Mirella now runs her Dalmations Kirby and Gibson.  She got Kirby 2014 and is currently Grade 6. She also trained Kirby to Silver Level KC Good Citizen Dog Scheme.   In 2018 along come Gibson and so far he has passed his Bronze Level KC Good Citizen Dog Scheme and Grade 1 IMDT.  Gibson will start to compete in agility in 2020 and will start in Grade 2.

 

Mirella has found it so rewarding to train her dogs in both obedience and agility and says both her, Kirby and Gibson have learnt so much together - it is so much fun working with your best friends. Some days it goes to plan, others is doesn't, but her training is always fun for both of them.

In 2018 Mirella started her Agility1st Trainers Course which is a KCAI scheme.  In January 2020 she passed her practical exam and is now a KCAI Accredited Agility1st Trainer.   She is looking foward to helping others and watching both handlers and dogs growing together.  Mirella says "Every day is a fun day with the boys"

Roger Teasdale

trainer_rt

A Graduate in Canine Behaviour Training from Bishop Burton College.

 

Roger has been a dog owner and trainer for many years and, as a member of SOATC, has taught puppy and pet dog classes as well as competition obedience and agility at the club. He was also a lecturer at Bishop Burton College teaching Canine Behaviour Training to Foundation Degree level.

 

He has competed and judged in obedience competitions and he has competed in agility for over 20 years with four of his dogs.

 

With his dog Jingo, who is now 12 and retired from competition, Roger represented Agility Team GB in the European Open Championships in Belgium and also represented England in the World Agility Open championships in Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

 

Jingo and Roger have won two Agility Championship Certificates and they have competed in the Olympia Finals and Crufts Finals on many occasions

 

Roger is currently competing at Grade 7 level with his 3 year old Sheltie x Collie, Keltie.

 

Roger’s philosophy for agility training is that the dog should regard it as playing games with it's owner. The games are conducted according to the handler’s rules and they have a purpose aimed at agility competitions, but really it is the owner and dog just playing games and having fun together.

So Are We Any Good?

We are proud to say, yes we are. We have members who have representated England in European Open Agility Championshps / FCI and WAO's.  Four of our members won the Team Agility Final held at Crufts in 2016.

General Information

  • Always bring small, tasty treats and a favourite toy.
  • Always keep your dog on a lead unless the instructor says otherwise.
  • Be aware of other dogs and owners, respect their distance for safety's sake.
  • Always clean up after your dog – bin provided near the gates.
  • It is wise to arrive early to exercise and toilet your dog before class. Try not to feed your dog a meal before training.
  • No bitches in season please – but do attend class yourself if you can!
  • Dress for the weather - most training will take place outdoors.
  • Reward based methods only – NO Harsh handing, no full check chains or physical punishment etc. allowed.
  • Parking available - please ensure access for all other cars in both classes - and access to the field must be available at all times for emergency services if required.
  • As our trainers are volunteers, they may change for each class dependent on availability.

We appreciate your cooperation to make classes as safe and as fun as possible. Thank you.