The Kennel Club Olympia Agility Stakes Semi-Final
supported by Pedigree
The Royal Show 7th – 10th July 2009

Judge: Pauline Barr

This was to be the final Royal Show for us and for the event itself and it was quite ironic that it was also the Royal where we had the best ever spot for the Country Sports Arena right opposite the entrance from Car Park 2. I have to say that we had a really good crowd watching the agility for each performance but the show itself just didn’t get the numbers in that everyone believed it would for its final time. And certainly there was a dramatic drop in the number of trade stands, probably reflecting the current hard economic times.

We had some great competition over four days, our judge Pauline has gone into it in graphic detail. The only comment I can make as a commentator is that there was some really exciting semi-finals. I would like to thank Pauline for judging and to our bunch of helpers “without whom none of this would be possible” A bit corny but true so many thanks to Roger & Pauline, Rob & Elaine, Shaun & Liz and Colin. No MP’s expenses for this lot, just another bunch of people selflessly giving their time for the benefit of others.

There will be some changes in the qualifying process for this and other KC Olympia competitions next year details of which we hope to announce before the end of September.

Dave Ray

Judges Report

It was the time of year last year when we were allocating judges to the KC Olympia/Pedigree semi-finals and it came to the judge of the Royal Show. “I want you to judge the Royal” Dave said. Yikes, I thought but I was very honoured to be asked to judge this event with the top handlers and dogs in the UK competing. A very busy but enjoyable four days for me. My thanks must go to my ring party, what a great team you were and such great company too. Thanks also to all the competitors and their dogs who were a pleasure to judge and good luck to the twenty competitors who have earned their place at Olympia in December.

Tuesday Semi 1

Not a very nice start to the day and we had to run the warm up in the rain but brighter in the afternoon for the semi final. Our first clear came from our morning warm up winner Dave Munnings with Dobby in a time of 33.39. At the time I wondered if the time could be beaten as the next two clears came from Lee Windeatt and Shy and Christine Robson and Jill at 34.57 and 34.15 respectively. Up stepped Sarah Osbourne running eighth with BC Tig and off they went putting in a stunning clear in 32.62 and snatching the lead from Dave and Dobby. Unlucky for some but lucky running order thirteenth today for Amanda Pigg and the lovely WSD Jag going clear in a time of 34.08 and into 3rd place. The only other clear from the remaining 6 dogs came from Louise Raine and Star in a time of 34.69. Good but only good enough to take the dreaded 6th place. Heartbreak of the day was to be Marilyn Murphy’s round, going fantastically well and just a few jumps to go when Marilyn’s millisecond hesitation caused Flyte to pop over the wrong jump, such hard luck.

Place Handler Dog Breed
Clear time
1st Sarah Osborne Touchango Top Gear BC
2nd Dave Munnings Ag Ch Gunran Misteree BC
3rd Amanda Pigg The Jagged Edge WSD
4th Christine Robson Kilallan Just A Notion WSD
5th Lee Windeatt Tenita Pricess Lyla BC

Wednesday Semi 2

Commentator Dave deemed this day as Scotland versus England as the handlers from the two heats came from Fair City and Vyne. Our first clear came from an English handler running a Lurcher that was Malcolm Card and Spud putting in a time of 35.82. Running third was Scotsman John McEwan running Guy and they looked on par for qualifying and all the dog needed to do was to clear the wall to finish when he suddenly saw his lead and ran towards it meaning a 5 fault refusal but he brought his dog back to finish and the time was a respectable 39.41 and this was the heart break of the day. Poor John hurt his knee in the process and couldn’t run so withdrew his other dog from competition. Immediately following John was young Scotsman Kenny Spottiswoode with his dog Nike fresh from winning the Pedigree Highland Agility Stakes the previous Saturday and together they were the perfect partnership producing a clear in 35.78 and taking the lead. Expectant Mum warm up winner Hannah Houldsworth (England) had the fastest round of this semi but sadly clipped a pole putting them out of contention. Matthew Goodliffe (England) put in a nice clear in 35.87 which put him in 3rd place followed by Englishman Simon Peachey and DJ making up for a knocked pole the day before with a clear in 35.48 and taking the lead. Two more clears followed from Jackie Davidson (Scotland) and Leah Gardner (England)at the time both going into 5th place. Running twelfth was Agnes Campan from Scotland and with a name like Agnes you would think she is Scottish but in fact she is French and lives in Scotland and her name is not pronounced like Agnes is in Scotland! Agnes, had flown back from work in Norway the evening before and then had an 8 hour drive down to Stoneleigh, put in a fabulous clear round with this handsome black and white BC and went into the lead in a time of 35.40. The next 2 clear rounds weren’t quite quick enough to get in the placings and running eighteenth was English girl Natasha Wise with the oldest dog in the competition BC Maddie. Expertly handled and doing enough to snatch 5th place from boyfriend Matt in a time of 35.82 and joining brother-in-law Simon at Olympia in December. So the Scotland v England result was Scotland two and England three!

Place Handler Dog Breed
Clear time
1st Agnes Campan Vazy Manouk BC
2nd Simon Peachey Rosmarinus Rum Twister BC
3rd Natasha Wise Ag Ch Eastern Lyric BC
4th K Spottiswoode Bannetstane Nike Just Do It BC
5th Malcolm Card Pioneer Macendy's Lad Lurcher

Thursday Semi 3

This was the most straightforward course of the four (must have been in a good mood the day I designed it) but you still had to be in the right place at the right time or suffer the consequences as some handlers found out. This semi produced the most clear rounds and absolutely no poles were knocked down due to the perfect ground conditions. In the first half of the competition we had six clear rounds but only one of these would feature in the final five and that was Alan Stiff with Jack running fifth who eventually came 4th overall. Running order 13 was Debbie Fox with her WSD Bex and a lovely clear in 30.40 and into the lead she went. Very short lived as running immediately afterwards was Elspeth Baird with BC Jack and completed another nice clear in 30.35. A Scottish contender from Wednesday Mark Douglas and Kelpie Ruby ran fifteenth and popped themselves into a nail biting 4th place. Last up was Lucy Osborne with WSD Ben and Lucy showed no nerves as she worked Ben every inch of the way to a clear in 30.07 and a well deserved place at Olympia in December. A purple patch for Lucy and Ben as they went on to win their first CC at Rugby two days later. Well done.

Place Handler Dog Breed
Clear time
1st Lucy Osborne Ben Bombastic Mr Fantastic WSD
2nd Elspeth Baird Touchango Black Jack BC
3rd Debbie Fox Alexaarons Don't Look Back WSD
4th AlanStiff Mr Scrumpy WSD
5th Mark Douglas Ag Ch Cories Ruby Tuesday Kelpie

Friday Semi 4

The final day and the final 17 handlers and 20 dogs. Yes, we had no less than 3 handlers who had qualified two dogs each. This course required a bit of handling today and I think Dave got a bit worried when the first four handlers all got eliminated on different parts of the course. Chris Cole running fifth with Cap went into the lead with 5 faults for a knocked pole, were we going to get any clears? On the line running sixth came Lindsay Cheshire with her WSD Tia, off they set and what a brilliant round they had. Contacts were fast and precise and together they worked as a team storming home with a clear round in 32.93. Kaye Faiers was next on the line with her homebred BC Sunndach Swirl producing our second clear round in a time of 37.97, Kaye hampered by a recent injury but Swirl working well. The next clear came from Jane Seller running twelfth with BC Whizz and she took 2nd place from Kaye in a time of 34.50. And we weren’t going to wait long for another clear as next to run was Jacqui Tarn running her younger dog of the two she’d qualified for the day. Jacqui had been eliminated with Maddi earlier and she wasn’t going to make the same mistake with Becca. A superb round with this young dog just 2 years and 7 months, a clear in 33.48 putting them in second place. I was pleased to hear that Jacqui won her first CC in Scotland with Becca the following day! Dave Leach with Malinois Rusty gained 5 faults for an incorrect entry at the weaves but finished the course in a respectable time of 36.58. Running fifteenth was Jo Richardson running the second of her two dogs and like Jacqui had been eliminated with the older dog earlier on. Another brilliant clear with Nixon in 33.15 meant that Jo snatched 2nd place off Jacqui. Next to go was Janet Thompson with BC Elsa. We had been warned that Elsa liked to shout her way round an agility course and she didn’t let us down with her own commentary but she listened well to Janet’s instructions and came home with a clear in 34.84 putting her in 5th place. Lesley Hildrew was next to run but sadly Wiz jumped the wrong jump to which Lesley uttered a mild expletive and then was immediately mortified when she realised it had come out loud. The audience nearby found this extremely funny of course! Pat Brown had a great run with young Diva and put in a good time of 34.49 but unfortunately a knocked the pole on the wishing well gained her 5 faults and 7th place overall.

Place Handler Dog Breed
Clear time
1st Lindsay Cheshire No More Tia's WSD
2nd Jo Richardson Nedlo And Behold BC
3rd Jacqui Tarn Morgans Halloween Kracker BC
4th Jane Seller Rosmarinus Rum Runner BC
5th Janet Thompson Comebyeanaway Divas Tigress BC

View pictures from the show by clicking here

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