What better way to end the agility season than with a trip to the British Agility Championships held at Bury Farm Equestrian Club in Buckinghamshire. This three day event took place over the weekend of 11th-13th October and drew a top class field of agility handlers and their dogs and with world class Judges Sari Mikkilä from Finland and Alexander Beitl from Germany judging the British Agility Championships for Grade 6-7 dogs and Iain Patz from the UK judging the British Novice Stakes for Grade 1-5 dogs we were going to be in for an agility treat.
This was a tournament style event made up of five individual classes across the weekend, a fast and open course for the British Open Grand National on the Friday evening with the winner of each of the four height classes guaranteed a place in the Saturday night Speed Jump Off Final, for the Saturday agility and jumping qualification rounds with the top 10 dogs of each height running in Saturday evening’s Speed Jump Off Final with further agility and jumping qualification rounds on the Sunday with the top 15 dogs from each height category (Saturday and Sunday results combined) qualifying for the Sunday evening British Championships Final.
The courses did not disappoint proving interesting and challenging with their fast flowing lines and versatile handling possibilities to test each handler’s technical skills. Flyte and I absolutely loved running all five of these European style courses but I won’t deny they were testing and we certainly learnt a lot from the whole experience. Flyte was awesome as always and we had some fabulous “almost” runs and a lovely smooth clear round in the British Open Grand National and an amazing 4th place in the Sunday’s agility qualification round – woohoo. No finals place for us this time but we stayed to cheer on the other competitors who battled it out for a share of the £700.00 prize fund!
A great weekend was certainly had by all and if you are looking for a fun, well organised weekend of indoor European style agility then a visit to the British Agility Championships is a must!
We are a little sad that another agility season has drawn to a close but there is plenty to look forward to next year with Flyte’s debut at the new Intermediate height and the challenge of Crufts Singles and Olympia courses to come and if we can just nail five wins at our new jump height the door to Champ classes will open – bring it on!