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Size matters!

GREAT DANES, St Bernards and Irish Wolfhounds are not renowned for their agility prowess, although visitors to a free dog agility day last Sunday would have been surprised and quickly disabused of this notion!

The Harlequin Fun Agility Club staged its first agility day at Ging Farm in Markfield, Leicestershire where twenty dogs from as far afield as Surrey were put through their paces on the weave, the A-Frame, the tunnel and see-saw. Breeds in attendance included Great Danes, St Bernards, GSDs, an Irish Wolfhound and an Alaskan Malamute.

Dog food manufacturers Eukanuba sponsored the event, providing several sacks of their Large Breed Feed and goody bags for all canine competitors.

Prominent amongst the big dogs taking part was Harlequin Great Dane "Blake", the canine star of the 1999 hit film "East Is East".

Blake's owner Jill Gibson commented: "The day was a great success and saw owners having fun with their dogs that they would not normally have a opportunity to do. Having equipment that is purpose built to accommodate large breeds is unheard of in the world of dogs and to find a club that caters for large canines is quite a bon(e)us!

"We are very grateful to Eukanuba for providing food for the prizes and goody bags and we hope to stage many more open events in the months to come."

* Throughout each weekend, classes are held for beginners to advanced level, with fun remaining at the top of the agenda. If anyone is interested in joining the Harlequin Fun Agility Club, please contact Jill Gibson on: 0116 287 2319. All large dogs are welcome!

* Jill's Great Dane Blake, now aged 7 ("Blake's Seven!" says Jill), star of the hit comedy film "East is East" has been invited to appear at Crufts on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th March to show that large dogs can - and do - enjoy agility.

Jill Gibson and her Great Dane Blake, showing his prowess on the A Frame!