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 Introducing some of the dogs that retired during Covid ...

Donna Lewis thought it was terribly sad that so many dogs were being retired from Agility in 2020 - many of them due to the Coronavirus Pandemic - without having their last year of glory so she decided to do something about it. She talked to her friends and that's how the idea of compiling a tribute page was born. She approached Agilitynet and together we devised a page where people could express their gratitude to the dogs that had given them love and fun over the years whether it be at shows or training. Concentrating on 2020 dogs this year, we hope we can open this page up to dogs that were retired pre-lockdown and make it a regular feature from 2021 onwards. Sadly it looks likely that Donna's own little Chinese Crested Flora may soon join this little group of retired dogs as age creeps up on her.


Saddington Pippin
Owned by: Tracy Neill

Pet name: Pippin

Breed: Sprollie

Age: 11 in July 2021

About retirement: At the end of 2019 Pippin won into Grade 7. I had hoped that during the 2020 season we would have competed at Grade 7 and maybe entered a Champ run. However that was not to be. With not competing last year and very little training, I have decided that it is time for him to retire so that he can hopefully have a good old age.

I have really enjoyed our time competing with Pippin and will now be concentrating on Merry my WCS. Whereas Pippin is my comfy slippers, she is my stilettos. I wonder what my next one will be like? 

Describe your dog: Although I've always had dogs, Pippin is my first agility dog. I had him as a puppy when my eldest child left home for university. We started our training doing the KC Good Citizenship Scheme. My trainer asked if I would be interested in doing some agility and so it began. He has been a dream to work with, often getting me out of sticky situations. His start wait is brilliant but as soon as he's released drives all the way. I will miss working with him.

Achievements: It took us a while but we finally reached grade 7 and Agility Warrant Platinum. We also took part in displays at Crufts, Discover Dogs and local shows. 

 


Dakata Red Admiral
Owned by: Jennie kitchen

Pet name: Chesney

Breed: Apricot Toy Poodle

Age: 11 years

About retirement: Although Chesney is only 11 years old, this little chap has had his problems in the past. Retirement has come early. He injured himself last October 2020 so with Covid and perhaps with not too many shows this year 2021 we thought we would call it a day!

Describe your dog: We got Chesney at eight weeks old but unfortunately had two accidents in his first 15 months. The removal of his hip and a pinned and plated front leg meant that Jumping was the only option. He is a happy, lively, friendly little chap and enjoys life.

Achievements: Chesney reached Grade 5 in Jumping only. He also got his Good Citizen in Bronze, Silver and Gold. To me his greatest achievement was getting over his past injuries to get to Jumping.

 

 

 

Belamour Royal Commander AW/P
Owned by: Jennie Kitchen

Pet name: Rodney

Breed: Apricot Toy Poodle

Age: 13 years in October 2020

About retirement: After realising that there would be no shows due to Covid in 2020, I decided it was time to retire him. I really would have liked to run him in Allsorts in his last year.  Doesn't train anymore although he is willing. Will miss running him but he can now relax and enjoy resting.

Introduce your dog: We got Rodney at eight weeks. An absolute delight to train in obedience and agility, quick to learn and a dream to run. A lovely dog, a joy to have around.

Achievements: It took a few years to get to Grade 7 and to get his Platinum award. We entered a few Champ classes and got a 5th place at the Dogs in Need final. He was great at distant handling and his weave entries were a dream.


Breydon Squrlie Merlie
Owned by: Adrian Cooper

Pet name: Merlin

Breed: English Springer Spaniel

Age: 9 years

About retirement: Merlinís nose has got the better of him more and more as he has got older and I genuinely believe that he has lost interest, so I retired him at the onset of Covid with the intention of him having some fun with demos, which obviously didnít happen.

Describe your dog: Had Merlin from eight weeks and, at three, all was going well, he was enjoying his agility. Then he got Leptospirosis which affected his liver - thankfully not his kidneys. He had a week in intensive care and thankfully fully recovered. However, his agility has never been the same since as it appeared to affect his concentration span, if spaniels do indeed have one. I didn't really care as I still had him which was the main thing. He is totally clumsy and cannot catch to save his life!

Achievements: He has got a lot of 'sparklies' including 1st places but nothing spectacular other than he has had fun.
 


Princess Pepperkins
Owned by: Jane Evans

Pet name: Pepper

Breed: Collie x Lab 

Age: 7 years

About retirement: Following a couple of months of intermittent lameness, Pepper has been diagnosed with early onset arthritis in both front legs and we were advised to stop all agility to prevent her condition worsening. This was a devastating yet understandable decision made somewhat easier by the lack of competing throughout lockdown. She is now enjoying hydrotherapy and chasing squirrels instead.  

Describe  your dog: We rescued Pepper at age 6 months. She was my first ever dog and I could honestly not have asked for a better dog all round. She is clever, a quick learner and so gentle. Everybody loves her. She is very much the spoilt only child, not interested in other dogs but loves humans. She has the appetite of a lab and rounds her toys up like a collie.

Achievements: Pepper won out to KC Grade 4 at one of our last shows before Covid hit but unfortunately now wonít ever get those elusive two final points we needed for AW/B. She made it to the Finals of the Dog Agility Rescue League in 2019 and 2020. 

 


Talooma Midnight Lulu AW/B
Owned by: Karen Howell

Pet name: Tilly

Breed: Labrador Retriever

Age: 11 years

About retirement: December 2020

Describe your dog: Tilly is the sweetest dog you would ever wish to meet. She was my first agility dog so we were both learning together and luckily for me she's very intuitive and knows what I mean, even if I didn't. We competed first at UKA shows before coming late into the KC world.

Achievements:

  • KC Grade 4

  • Agility Warrant ( Bronze)

  • UKA Champ SC

  • Champion of Steeplechase UKA Performance Senior

  • KC Good Citizenship Silver


Foxtwist Cause a Commotion AW/S
Owned by: Jackie Bromwich

Pet name: Riot

Breed: Collie

Age: 10 years

About retirement: She has done me proud, and we are going to have a year of fun in Intermediate and do some AnySize classes and a bit of Hoopers.

Describe your dog: Riot was never more aptly named. I was slightly horrified when I started competing with her as she had decided that chasing a dog in the adjacent ring was far more exciting than playing agility with me. In 30 years of competing in agility with multiple dogs, I'd never had one do that before. She also found time to have two litters of beautiful puppies.

Achievements: She came out of competition for over a year while I tackled the problem of her strong chase drive. When she finally started competing again, she rapidly went up through the grades, ultimately achieving Grade 7. 


The Marvel Stan Lee
Owned by: Tracey Veale

Pet name: Stanley

Breed: Collie X

Age: 8.5 years

About retirement: When Covid struck and we went into lockdown, I decided to retire Stanley due to his age and the height he would have to jump. As we have not been able to train properly for a year, it is better that stop competing and give way to the two younger dogs in his pack. Now he is enjoying having long walks and cuddles if and when he comes along to training.

Describe your dog: I was given Stanley when he was 1 1/2 years old by a family who had young children and didnít have enough time for him. He was introduced to Agility and, after several months of being bitten by him at every possible opportunity, probably due to him being used as a sheep dog), he finally clicked as to what his new job was.

Achievements: We started off in Grade 1 and my aim was to get to Grade 3. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever have think we would actually get to Grade 7 which we managed in 2019.


Bottlesford Odd One Out AW/S
Owned by: Kim Taylor

Pet name: Chilli

Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel (Medium)

Age: 12 years

About retirement: We decided to retire Chilli after the 2020 the Kernow Easter Show 2020, exactly 10 years after his debut at the same show under judge Alison Grimes. Despite his age and breathing with a loose larynx, he's still barking and doing zoomies at every opportunity around the house and garden, leading our other dogs astray or lying on his back, jerking his legs in the air in a come play with me invitation. . He can still outrun me by some distance, whilst barking 'hurry up.' The lower Medium height helps out but competing is a no, no as people ringside would mutter about his choking noise. He still has fun doing a little training and long may that continue health-wise. Our, much loved, licky 'Little Brown Dog.'

Describe your dog: Chilli was bred by Joyce Turner and he was the only male in the litter. His KC name reflected both his birth and living status. He came into a household of three black & white Springer Spaniels as a Medium, liver WCS. After 30+ years of owning mad Springers, we didn't think a Cocker would be much different. How wrong were we! He's always watching you and is a real character.

Achievements: We've never been that competitive, only running two classes per day, but Chilli went from G3 to G5 - with two wins towards G6. He is only a few points from his Gold Warrant.


Dansharley Spirit
Owned by: Sue Taylor

Pet name: Druid

Breed: English Springer Spaniel (Large)

Age: 10 years

About retirement: He was to have been retired at the end of 2020 season. I had him re-measured in 2019 as Intermediate so as to reduce joint stress as he got older, but like others, he never got to compete in this height category. He may appear in an Anysize class this year, just to get his swan song run. Druid is also my 'marking up' dog, carrying spray cans or retrieving the end of laid out ropes, so we will still carry on doing that job together. We will carry on with Obedience as it's easier on his joints.

Describe your dog: He is a beautiful dog inside and out, with not an ounce of malice in him. He's great with nervous or young dogs, so gentle. He adores playing with our younger dogs and rolls around on his back like a giant hearth rug, making lots of growly noises or playing chase around the garden. Druid would live quite happily on the beach. He loves a cuddle on my lap - or on the bed - and reads my down or unwell moments like a book, nuzzling for a fuss. He's my one in a million dog.

Achievements: Druid started his Agility career late due to an elbow injury. He was nearly three before his first competition. At times, I didn't think would happen. He took me from G2 to G4 in rare moments of brilliance - I'm not that good, he's indifferent - but we had immense fun. As he is a heavier type of Springer and, with his former elbow issue, I made sure he was never over jumped in training or competition. He went from G2 to G5 (with one win towards G5). He is only five points from gaining his Bronze Warrant.

He also competes in Obedience, winning out of introductory and Pre beginners with one win in Beginners towards Novice. We reached Discover Dogs in the KC Good Citizens semi-final for Crufts. He was a star there, with kids making a big fuss of my hairy monster and him taking London crowds in his stride.


Poppet the Rocket AW/G
Owned by: Jenny Rothwell

Pet name: Poppet

Breed: Bedlington Terrier X

Age: 17 years on May 10th 2021

About retirement: Poppet retired at the Dig It Dogs virtual show in June 2020. Sadly she started to loose her sight just after her last run, though she would love to carry on. She still goes for a weekly hydrotherapy swim.

Achievements: We got to Grade 4 in KC Agility and also attended Crufts Activity Ring twice. Agility has always been her first sport but she has had placements in Flyball, Heelwork to Music, Freestyle and Obedience shows, too.


Jensons Herbmeister AW/G
Owned by: Jenn Tulk

 

Pet name: Herbie (aka Herbmonster)

Breed: Crossbreed

Age: 10 years 9 months

About retirement: Our last competitive season was always going to be 2020. My aim was to reach G7 before retiring but, due to COVID, that goal was never reached. His last competition was at Kelluki in September where he had a successful day with his 2nd win to G7, winning the Combined G5-7 Agility and getting a 2nd and a 4th. I will miss standing on the Start Line with him as I say 'Let's do this for grampies' - in memory of my dad who never got to watch us compete, passing away three days before our first ever comp. To you Dad, the boy did good. 

Describe your dog: Herbie was rescued for Dogs Trust at 16 weeks old, and he has been by my side ever since. We started agility in 2012 but almost didn't continue due to his lack of focus and because he was forever wandering off! We persevered and started competing in 2014. He quickly went from G1 to G3 in 12 weeks! I love running Herbie. He just loves Agility and always has fun with a cheeky smile on his face. I never know whether it's 'sensible' Herbie or 'woohoo' Herbie where we end up with Es. Either way, he has been a superstar - my dog in a million.

Achievements:

  • KC G6.2,

  • UKA Champ Sc

  • UKA Senior performance

  • Royal Canin Final 2016 (5th)

  • Crufts ABC DD semi-finals 2018


Starbound Keep Trying
Owned by:
Jan Wilkins

Pet name: Otto

Breed: Schnauzer

Age: 10 years

About retirement: He deserves his rest. He's given me his heart and soul over the competing years and we have loved every minute of our competing life. He now has a new role as a lazy beachcomber and champion sand digger.

Describe your dog: Otto is a loving boy with a very high food drive. He originally started in Obedience, going on to the Scottish Kennel Club Beginners Finals. All to soon it was clear that he was meant for Agility.

Achievements: In his first season went from Grade 1 to 5. His first Grade 6 run saw him be the only clear and in time dog with a very skillful sharp turn to avoid the 'killer trap' before the final run home. His last competition saw him running the the final Crufts Team event. Sadly they were beaten on time.


Sapphire Star Amber AW/G
Owned by: Jason Drinkwater

Pet name: Amber

Breed: Border Collie X German Shepherd

Age: 13 Years

About retirement: August 2020

Describe your dog: Amber was a puppy who needed a second home at eight weeks as 'she doesn't stop and I need to go back to work.' She is very high drive and energy. She excelled at puppy training and Good Citizen Dog Scheme and showed huge promise at competitive Obedience, but I didn't! She entered her first agility competition aged 6, won the Jumping and never looked back. Amber is loyal, funny and has been a pleasure to own from the time she learnt to switch off. I couldn't have had a better first agility dog.

Achievements: 

  • KC Grade 7 with agility wins at all grades

  • Agility Warrant Gold

  • KC GCDS Gold

  • Part of the GCDS Bronze demo team at Crufts 2008


Tidgy Pud Too
Owned by: Emma Ward

Pet name: Daisy

Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Age: 11 years

About retirement: We would have retired her in 2020 due to heart problems.

Describe your dog: She shares her home with her daughter Minnie and Harvey, our rottie x mastiff. She is a very loving dog and mothers Harvey and Minnie, constantly ensuring that they have clean faces, whether they like it or not. She is very laid back, leaving Harvey and Minnie to guard the house whilst she snoozes on the sofa. She is very food motivated and will watch us avidly whilst we are eating, in the hope of a dropped titbit. 

Achievements: Daisy was never going to set the agility world on fire as she wasn't fast but, what she lacked in speed, she made up for in enthusiasm. She always started barking excitedly as soon as we pulled into the car park at a show. She only had a win into Grade 4, although she had numerous rosettes for placings, Her best achievement was getting a 1st place on a course when every other dog was eliminated due to some nasty traps. Sadly she was out of time on the course. 


Tess to Impress
Owned by: Allison Campbell 

Pet name: Tess

Breed: Miniature Schnauzer 

Age: 13 years

About retirement: Tess would have run in any size and veterans jumping in 2020, she wasn't 13 until September so still wanted to take part in agility and still up for it.

Describe your dog: I got Tess as a puppy. The first time she saw my other dogs she screamed and, for a while any dog she met she screamed at them. In saying that she soon grew in confidence and nothing much really phased her. She was - and still is - ruled by her belly, so training was relatively easy for her, working with her to the excitement of finishing a round and getting to those treats. She is a typical Schnauzer though. If hubby was about, he had to be right there or she would go looking for him. All male dogs loved her and she was good with boisterous puppies as she would tolerate so much then tell them to behave and they did.

Achievements: We were lucky to be in a group of dogs who all started their agility at the same time. Tess went up the grade steadily all the way to Grade 7, but didn't really do well in Champ. She was a consistent dog. Although she wasn't the fastest, she was tight and always brought home a rosette or two. Tees took me to Crufts twice, Olympic qualifier and although we could go discover dogs. More importantly though I absolutely loved running her. She was and still is a star.


Beaglebug at Seabriar
Owned by: Paul Garland

Pet name: Evie

Breed: Beagle

Age: 11 years

Describe : 16th March 2020 due to her slowing down. Then after a health check, we found out she had a heart murmur. Sadly we lost her on the 21st September 2020.

Introduce your dog: We rescued Evie her at 12 weeks old as I always wanted a beagle. First we tried Flyball, but Evie was not ball orientated, so we tried Agility and she loved it. She was always friendly especially when people had treats. Always got told she would be hard to train but proved them wrong, lots of sniffing to start but got there in the end. All our training was at BTH run by Lee Hayes. Evie loved running course's and loved by all Judges and ring parties.

Achievements: Many wins but not progressing due to faults and times (only missing out by seconds). Her first win was at Barnard Castle, her last win was her last ever competition which she had to run twice due to timing issuses but ran clear both times. We did our best and got to Grade 3.


Daisy Be Lucky
Owned by:
Shirley Elkins

Pet name: Daisy

Breed: Working Sheep Dog

Age: 11

About retirement: Daisy retired to Anysize at the start of 2019 , a small built collie jumping full height until she measured into intermediate, 2020 would probably have been her final year running in Anysize,

Describe your dog: All I can say is Daisy has been a lovable and amazing dog since puppyhood, she has always been ready for a challenge and always wants to please. At home, she is everyone's favourite.

Achievements: Daisy has had a fantastic agility career with lots of wins and getting her to Grade 7. I have really enjoyed running her, and I will miss having her by my side at the start line. She enjoyed Anysize as there were no tight turns. I'm sure she would love to carry on, but itís time to let the younger dogs have a play.


Daisy Lou
Owned by: Ami Carter

Pet name: Daisy

Breed: Husky x Staffy

Age: 10 years

About retirement: She is currently facing arthritis problems.

Describe your dog: Daisy is a gentle giant who likes to sleep all day now.

Achievements: It took her eight years to get to Grade 7. She finally got there just four months before the first lockdown.


Lie Low Lilly
Owned by Sue Taylor

Pet Name: Lil

Breed: Collie. Her parents were ISDS trialling dogs.

Age: Born on 4th March 2008

About retirement: 2020 would have been her final year jumping in Veteran/ Any Size but Covid put an end to this so now she has put her paws up and is enjoying a well earned retirement.

Describe your dog: I have had Lil since she was eight weeks old. Her passion has always been playing and Agility. She has never been interested much in food, not keen on fuss. She always hated finishing a course and would go around again if allowed! She would work all day if she could. She has been an amazing girl always giving her all, an elegant careful jumper who just loved to work and would work for anyone.

Achievements: KC Grade 7, UKA Champ


Pampered Princess
Owned by: Pam Stokes

Pet name: Jasmine

Breed: Working Sheepdog

Age: 9 years

About retirement: Decision made - July 2020. Last training - March 2020. Last competition - October 2019. Jasmine's first Kennel Club show was Ayrshire DTC in June 2014 and her last was Excel in October 2019 where she measured into Intermediate. In hindsight neither of us needed the stress of that queue. She has been losing her hearing and with the restrictions this year I decided not to aim for returning to competition fitness. A subsequent diagnosis of wear and tear damage to her cruciate ligament sealed the retirement decision.

Describe your dog: I got Jasmine as a puppy. I had wanted a puppy for a while and had high hopes for all we would do together. Two weeks after I got her, I became ill and so those plans all had to change. Jasmine grew into a nervous dog who was scared of many things especially noises and other dogs. The latter lead her to be highly fear reactive with other dogs. Training, competing and queuing all posed huge challenges. We had tremendous support from friends, club members, ring parties, judges and many others for which I am very grateful.

Achievements: In total she competed in 72 classes on 18 days of KC competitions which, in the scheme of things, was not much at all. She was eliminated 40 times and had 31 runs with faults - three of which were course clears - and 1 fully clear round, which got her 16 warrant points. She brought home some rosettes - 2 x 5ths, 1 x 3rd and 2 x 2nds and some 1sts from fun shows. It' s not a huge haul but every single result was the result of a lot of blood, sweat and tears. 


Bottlesford Lemon Truffle
Owned by:
Sharon Lear

Pet name: Rio. Also answers to Princess!

Age: 12 years

Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel

About retirement: Rio was supposed to be running in Anysize 2020 and finishing at the end of the season, but sadly there were no shows for her.

Describe your dog: Rio was bred by a friend. She was the only lemon and white in a litter of liver puppies, and I often feel she was destined to be mine. She was always exciting to run in the ring - very fast and often noisy! She gave everything, every single time. I always left the ring with a sense of breathlessness and stunned surprise that we survived the 30 seconds, whether it went right or wrong. She has absolutely no sense of self-preservation and is still wild running through the trees at 12 years old. At home, she is happiest under a blanket on the sofa.

Achievements: Rio ended her career at KC Grade 7 and UKA Champion at both Performance and Steeplechase. She competed in several Champ and UKA finals.


Califia Winter Sky AW/S
Owned by: Sue Lackey

Pet names: Cali or Cali Doodle

Age: 11 years

Breed: Bedlington Terrier X Pomeranian

About retirement: She retired in August 2020 needing only one more agility win to Grade 6. We had hoped 2020 would give us that final win so she could retire at G6 but, in this pandemic year, it wasn't to be.

Describe your dog: Cali came into our family as an eight week old puppy. It was obvious early on that she was quite clever and very active. I saw something on TV about Agility and I thought might be a fun thing to do with her, so I contacted Highdown Agility Club, a local group and thus our adventure began. 

Achievements: Cali spent five years in Grade 1 but eventually won up to Grade 5. She qualified twice for The Agility Club Starters Final and earned her Bronze and Silver KC Agility Warrants.


Baron von Schnoodle
Owned by: Babs Foster

Pet name: Zippo

Age: 13 years in May 2020

Breed: Schnauzer x poodle Ė or Schnoodle!

About retirement: Forced retirement Ė January 2020

Describe your dog: Zippo came into our family as a puppy. He was one of the three boys, all looking all very similar. He made the choice for me by coming and laying on my feet, something he often still does today. He has been the easiest of dogs to live with and train, and loves everyone - both two and four legged. He has a soft, friendly nature, not too noisy or demanding, although can have his moments! He was a great dog to share the ring with, although inconsistent on his contacts, particularly rushing to get off the see-saw. He has taught me such a lot and given me so many smiles and proud moments! Love him!

Achievements: He took me to the dizzy heights of KC Grade 7 and Champ classes. Some of his best achievements include being 3rd at his first ever in the Champ Final at Chippenham and later winning the Champ Jumping at Thames.

Other achievements:-

  • Won the first overall UKA Masters Final

  • Qualified for the Mini / Mixi Pairs at Discover Dogs on a couple of occasions with his collie girlfriends Swift and Dottie

  • Won the TAG Team Dash final with team mates Blink, Wicked and Whizzer Ė against all heights

  • Runner-up in Grade 6 in The Agility Club Points League


Fly Bys Limited Edition 
Owned by: Deanne Nash

Pet names: Tag / Tagman

Age: 10 years

Breed: Welsh Sheepdog 

About retirement: Sadly he retired from Agility on 12th October due to being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Describe your dog: I have had Tag since he was eight weeks old. He was born on Valentine's Day and is truly my soul mate. He was my first dog. Tag lives up to his KC name as he is truly a limited edition. He is the biggest character of our house. He now enjoys going on new adventures, going to the pub, beaches, country walks, coming out in Agility classes to see all his friends and mug the owners for treats. His favourite toy is soft squeaky tennis ball.

Achievements:

  • Winning from Grade 1 to G6 in Agility

  • Qualified for Animal Health Company Final twice

  • Ran in the Rest of the World final at Agility by the Pond

  • JDA Final

  • Agility Secrets Jumping Cup Final

  • Jump & Twist Pairs Final


Black Sky's Little Witch AW/B
Owned by: Donna McDonnell

Pet names: Sky (aka Twiz, Oi, Mouth Almighty, Evil Edna) 

Breed: Working Sheepdog

Age: 10 1/2 years

About retirement: May 2020. I wish they didn't have to get old.

Describe your dog: I love the bones of this little dog with all of her quirks and issues. She is a feisty, funny, spicy little workaholic! She came to me at nine months of age, having been farm bred and failed in her first domestic home. She had no off switch, a talent for getting into trouble and an epic attitude. Now she's an older lady she still has an epic attitude except now she feels she's old enough to be allowed to indulge it - and she does. 

She loved her agility for its own sake, and although we were never the most consistent partnership - clears were few and far between, if she went clear she often won. We had so much fun together, I'll remember her career with incredible fondness and joy. She' s also very vocal and always gave it plenty of verbal all the way round every course.

Achievements: We got to G5 with one win towards G6 when I retired her and reached UKA Champ in both Steeplechase and Performance. She got her AW/B. Her biggest achievement is that she gave me 100% effort on every single run and had a blast doing it.

Pannusred Red
Owned by: Allen Venue

Pet name: Red

Breed: Border Collie

Age: 10 1/2 years

About retirement: We retired Red this year 2020 in September at one of Sam Hatcher's Kelluki shows. He was starting to measure jumps and, after shows, he would be very stiff and achy. That said I am sure he still wants to do it as when we go to shows and I run his nephew Red gets very excited and I know he would run for me but I do not want to hurt him, its time now to thank him for all he has done for me in agility and look after him in his old age,

Describe your dog: Red was my very first agility dog. I have had him since he was a puppy at just six weeks old. He came from a very good breeder and has very good breeding lines.
I did not get him for agility but a good friend encouraged me to give it a go because I was finding it hard to suppress his energy. I am so glad I did take up agility with him as I love the sport and I am totally obsessed with it now.

Red was an absolutely amazing dog to work with and I am convinced that if he had gone to a more experienced handler he could have achieved anything. One thing that has always struck me about Red is his intelligence. He never stops amazing me. Even at ten and a half years old he still does stuff that I think how does he work it out? Away from agility Red loves long walks (not so long now he is getting older) he just loves the outside, he loves hunting and running around in the woods, his discipline is amazing he makes me very proud, and I frequently get nice comments on how well behaved he is, he is hardly ever on a lead as he knows all of the rules. Red has one favourite toy that he loves called Stinky Pig. This is the toy he will get if he wants you to play.

Achievements: That said I am more than pleased with what we have both achieved together (first agility dog) some of his achievements over the years:-

 UKA

  • Champion at Agility

  • Champion at Jumping

  • 3 x Champion at Steeplechase

 Kennel Club

  • Reached Grade 5


Not for the Faint Hearted
Owned by: Karen Stubbs

Pet names: Meesha Meesh or Oh Gobby One!

Breed: Border Collie

Age: 11 years

About retirement: She's went on to do a few Hoopers sessions, but I've had to stop that with her now. Now she's a pet dog and loves her walks and bosses the other two around.

Describe your dog: She is my first ever dog from a breeder. All the others are rescues. Everyone knows when she is around as she is a tad gobby around the rings especially with total excitement; I could never queue with her as she wore herself out barking before we even got to the start line. She had a special tuggie for training which she loved as soon as it came out she was at the front door at 100mph!

Achievements: We started in default G3 and retired in... G3. She was one of those dogs who gave all or nothing at all/ You never knew what you were going to get until she got into the ring. She was very bold. Sometimes she was deaf and took her own line because she couldn't hear my commands above the barking! If she was on form, she came in the top 3. She was so much fun to run and the entertainment value was second to none. She was very confident and worked well ahead of me. Yes, she was very fast but unfortunately had no self preservation whatsoever and picked up a few injuries which came back as she aged to bite her in the bum! I do miss running her a lot.


Andreas Colour of Magic
Owned by: Janet Nero

Pet name: Echo

Breed: Collie

Age: Echo will be 13 years old in February 2021. I wanted to give her one more run earlier in 2020 to mark her retirement, but alas Covid put a dampener on that.

About retirement: Echo has been entered in Anysize for the last couple of years and, like all the classes she ran in, she swept the board.

Describe your dog: I have been doing agility for over 33 years and loved every minute.

Achievements: Echo's first show was at West Lakes when she was 18 months old and she was like a released balloon you have partly blown it up. She soon recognised what the game was all about and got to Grade 7 very quickly. Had a few goes at Champ and came 3rd in one of them. In the ring she was magical to watch And fantastic to run. I felt that I only needed to cough and she knew what I wanted.


Galloping Gizmo
Owned by: Wendy Hart

Pet name: Gizzy

Breed: Sprollie

Age: Approx. 13 years

About retirement: He also fell foul of the full height debate measuring just into Large and being quite a chunky boy as well.

Describe your dog: I got Gizmo as a rescue. He was thrown out of a car on a main road near where I live. He was very scared and hiding. After lots of coaxing, he came out of his hiding place and crawled on his belly to me. After the dog warden collected him - I didn't want another dog as had recently lost my Boxer x Terrier - I realized what a terrible mistake I had made and went to the pound to bring him home. Seven days later he came home with me. That was 11 years ago

Achievements: Gizmo was the first dog I ever did agility with. When we started, I never planned to compete. He was the typical Velcro dog so would only run as fast as I could go! We never competed at KC but he achieved Novice level in Performance and Steeplechase at UKA and Novice and Advanced levels at various independent shows where he could jump Standard height. Over his career, we have collected two huge boxes of trophies and rosettes and he has won quite a few leagues at different shows of the years.


Whinburn Sweet Whispers
Owned by: Paul Mackay

Pet name: Perri

Breed: Cocker Spaniel

Age: 10 years. Will be 11 in May.

About retirement: I retired her after Ribble show in early 2020 though she did attend Crufts 2020 as the reserve in Wes Lo's Tiny Terrors Small team which was placed 3rd.
She was retired a season or two early due to Covid pandemic.

Describe your dog: We got Perri on Boxing Day 2012. She came home on loan on condition she went back to breeder to have a litter. She was my first competition Agility dog, She started Agility aged five after her pups and having to have an operation to have the end of her tail amputated.

Achievements: She first competed in G1 on 16th April 2017 and went G2 by 18th June 2018. When she was G6, she had to have a year out to mend a damaged cruciate. She has also qualified for Crufts for Life as a show dog.

My Evie Wonder
Owned by: Heather Proctor

 

Pet name: Evie

Breed: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever x Collie.

Age: She will be 12 in January.

About retirement: She would have had a retiring run in 2020, but it was not to be!

Describe your dog: Evie is a small Large and so we rarely competed at Kennel Club shows in her early years. We concentrated on UKA where she measured Standard with ease. When the lower height option was introduced at KC shows, this was a blessing for us.
She measured into Intermediate, but sadly has never competed at that height. She still loves to have a run around the garden when I get the practice jumps out, but Covid has stopped our club from meeting since March. She has done a little Hoopers, but really is just enjoying her retirement. I will miss running this beautiful girl who has taught me so much! And I hope to do the odd Anysize whenever agility shows recommence.

Achievements: I have loved running her over the years and have met many wonderful people. Evie attained Champion status at UKA Performance and at also at Steeplechase. She also got to Grade 5 at KC and attained her Silver Warrant in 2019. So proud of her!


Sporticus
Owned by: Janice Beresford

Pet name: Tigger

Breed: Jack Russell x Lancashire Heeler

Age: 15 years

About retirement: Last September

Describe your dog: I rescued Tigger when he was a year old. He always gave 100% and used to jump in my arms to be carried into ring. You could always tell when he was enjoying himself as always barked when going round the course. He doesn't really have a favourite toy but likes balls.

Achievements: Tigger started at Grade 1and got to Grade 7 and Champ. In 2015, we went to Crufts.


My Perfect Parker
Owned by: Julia Durrant

Pet name: Parker

Breed: Poodle x Jack Russell

Age: 11 years

About retirement: December 2020. Happy retirement, my perfect partner.

Describe your dog: My little man has given me everything when doing Agility, He loved running with me as much as I have with him.

Achievements: Parker went from Grade 3 to Grade 7 in nine months. When he won into G7, I was told by someone that he would not be any good at that level. How wrong they were! My perfect Parker has been at Crufts three times, where we won , along with our amazing team mates 1st in the Small Crufts teams. He has come 3rd in three Agility Champ finals and competed in many more.


Rowanbriar Prima Rendevous
Owned by: Ann Sizer

Pet name: Vinnie

Breed: Labrador Retriever (Chocolate)

Age: 13 years

About retirement: At the age of 10, decided it was time for Vinnie to retire from competitive heights and we did Anysize courses, eventually retiring fully when he became the travel mascot for his successor.

Describe your dog: I first saw Vinnie when he was a day old, and he's been a permanent part of my life since then.
He is one of the most chilled boys you could ask for and has quite a fan club, two legs as well as four.
Itís lovely to see how the other dogs we socialise with, greet him with obvious affection.
 At 13, his main interests are eating and sleeping but he still joins us on our walks and adventures around the New Forest and local woods which I am so thankful that he is still able to do.

Achievements: We started agility in a local display team and took up training and competing when Vinnie was four. I knew we were never going to set the world on fire and for most of his competing life we were in Grade 1. In 2015 a new trainer taught me to go with Vinnie's strengths, and the introduction of the lower height meant we were able to continue to enjoy our partnership. We were still having fun, coming 4th on one of the ABC 4th Height challenges. We were also part of an ABC team event coming 2nd . Then amazingly, at the age of nine, we won into Grade 2 and just after he turned 10 years old, we won into Grade 3. 


Upsy Daisy Here We Go
Owned by: Georgia Hatton

Pet name: Hoddy

Age: 11 years

Breed: 3/4 Whippet, 1/4 Staffie

About retirement: 8 March 2020. We'll continue to play in Veterans and at UKA shows where we never managed to progress beyond Novice. We picked up our trick training in the first lockdown and are now working towards her trick dog Champion title. We found in the summer that she loves man-trailing, so we will definitely be continuing with that.

Describe your dog: Hoddy was my first dog and my first agility dog. We started classes in 2011, and she took to it fairly well though we a tendency to do laps of honour (aka zoomies). She won a class at her first ever show, but would be almost seven years old before we'd win out of grade 1, doing so on 3 jumping wins. From there we really started to settle into competitions and wins came steadily. At about 46cm tall 650 jumps were always a big ask but won to grade 3 before the introduction of lower height and eventual intermediate. In July 2019 on a very wet day in Derbyshire we did one last trip round a full height course to win the YKC pairs qualifier, earning our place at Crufts, which would eventually be our final competition, and a third place. With the lockdown, and her pre-existing hip dysphasia, I decided to end her career on a high as she began to suffer from occasional neck pain, and getting get back into fitness to compete in Grade 6 would be a tall order. She continues to enjoy zooming around training courses, complaining vocally when the other dogs have a turn, and her walks.

Achievements:

  • Grade 6 plus 4 wins to Grade 7

  • Agility Warrant Silver 

  • Crufts 2019 - YKC ABC agility

  • Crufts 2020 - YKC ABC agility and Pairs (3rd place) 

  • 2019 LHO National Jumping Cup Final


Izzy Whizz is the Biz
Owned by: Sarah Plant

Pet names: Known as Iz, Izzy, Iz Whizz, Little Miss Iz Whizz or Baby Girl

Breed: Lurcher

Age: 13 in February 2021

About retirement: Her last run was in September 2019 in Veterans. It would have been her last year in Veterans this year.

Describe your dog: Izzy is a rescue who joined our family at 15 months old. She loves running and chasing her friends, but put sand beneath her feet and she is at her happiest. She loves all food and is a sweetheart but gets scared of bangs and fireworks. She is my heart dog.

Achievements: It took a long time to get a clear and an even longer time to get any wins but eventually won into Grade 4. She loved a good straight run to the finish jump. She specialised in zoomies.

Smiley Miley Moon AW/S
Owned by: Diane Barry

 

Pet name: Milo

Breed: Sprocker (Springer x Cocker Spaniel)

Age: 12 in August 2020

About retirement: His last competition was at Dog Vegas at Onley in March 2020. He then developed arthritis in his hips which, together with Covid and the end of lower height for Medium dogs, led to his retirement in September 2020. Heís adapted well to retirement and is now trying Hoopers and Scentwork.

Describe your dog: Iíve had Milo from the age of 15 weeks. He was my first agility dog and loved the sport. Heís always given 110% in everything he does. His enthusiasm was often greater than his skills, but he always came out of the ring laughing. Very food orientated which often got us in trouble in the ring where heíd manage to find anything edible on the ground including sheep poo. Heíd always complete the course but then end his round by checking out the Scrimer's tent for food.

If Milo had a clear round he usually gained a place. Even his final competition in March 2020 he got a 3rd place. One thing he was famous for with my friends was barking as he went through the weaves. Everyone said he was counting the weaves and it really did seem like it. Weaves had been our or rather my nemesis at the beginning of our agility career but turned out his best achievement. He achieved Grade 5 which to me was amazing and also managed our Silver Warrant. Heís my first dog as an adult and my first Agility dog. He is my dog of a lifetime and my soul mate.

Achievements: Milo had no time for contacts as they slowed him down. His greatest achievement was winning the Semi-finals of The Agility Club Starters Cup in 2013. He ran a faultless round to win and we then went to Discover Dogs in November that year 2013. All didnít go to plan as he was so excited by the atmosphere but he loved being there nevertheless.

Bells Beau Delicious Boy
Owned by: Amanda Atkinson

 

Pet name: Beau

Breed: Working Sheepdog

Age: He will be 10 years old in March.

About retirement: His sight is going so I have decided it was time to retire him. He will still be very active, however, as he has started a new career in Hoopers. So far he loves it. There is no jumping and no contacts to worry about with poor eyesight.

Describe your dog: My boy Beau is a Rescue from Ireland. He was a day away from being put down when Dumfries & Galloway Canine saved him Whatever Beau does he loves and he is such a good boy. We call him the Clear Round Boy as very rarely did he ever knock a pole. He was never the fastest but he was very consistent with Clear rounds.

Achievements: He made it to Champ in UKA and Grade 6 in Kennel Club.


Tyger Flash
Owned by: Louise McMillan

Pet name: Flash

Breed: Boxer

Age: 8 years old

About retirement: Eye ulcers and now joint problems have meant that he was retired early.

Describe your dog: We attended CDAC where he refused to do any training after 9pm. You could set your watch!. He might not have been the fastest, but he was accurate on touch points and taught me that if your dog isn't in the mood for work don't force them. They really don't want to be in the ring. A funny moment was at the Letchworth show when he refused the tunnel because (I think) he didn't want to get this back wet. Even the judge tried helping to no avail. His favourite treat is cheese. In his opinion, toys are a no no. Food is better.

Achievements: His biggest achievement was to get to Grade 3.


Ruby Loo
Owned by: Bob Wakelin

Pet name: Ruby

Breed: Cockapoo

Age: 14 years.

About retirement: February 2020. Given the chance, she would still be doing Agility - if she could. She is now blind and her hearing isn't good.

Describe your dog: Before Ruby started Agility, she was on medication to bring down her serotonin levels. She didn't start Agility until she was six years and I was 65. She took to it like a duck to water and soon settled in. It was new to both of us so it was a steep learning curve but we both really started to enjoy it.. We made new friends and were soon traveling around from show to show. She is now off all meds. We used to laugh that she could read the numbers as I often got lost on the course, but Ruby would take off and she was usually right. My wife said she was my comfort blanket. Agility saved her life and completely changed mine.

Achievements: We got to Grade 7.


Sp.Ch. Larling Action Man
Owned by:
Amanda Spinks

 

Pet name: Jack

Breed: Toy poodle

Age: 14 1/2 years

About retirement: Retired at Crufts

Describe your dog: Jack and his first mum lived in Spain. After he made it to Show Champion, he came here to live with me.

Achievements: He was always active, and he took to Agility immediately. He won into G4 at his first Kennel Club show after only six months of training and he ultimately reached Grade 7 and Champ at UKA. He qualified for Crufts for five years before retiring. The highlight of his agility career was being part of the amazing, winning Stamford Team in 2016.


Myter Who Dares Wins
Owned by: Jane Emmett

Pet names: Robbie or Mr Robs

Breed: Sheltie 

Age: 12 years 8 months. DOB 6th April 2008.

About retirement: May 2020. To keep him happy, we have been training at Hoopers which he loves. We have to limit his runs -otherwise he would just keep running and be stiff the next day. Happy retirement my wonderful, special Mr Robs.

Describe your dog: I bought Robbie as a puppy. He is loyal, cuddly and just loves working even now. He enjoys giving advice in the ring and always lets me know when my commands are late and not given quickly enough. Early on, following an ankle injury, he taught me that he would work away from me. It was always enjoyable to watch even if it wasn't the judge's course. Robbie will be a hard act to follow. Miss Mitz take notice.

Achievements: In his first ever Champ class, he got through to the Final, finishing 6th. His highest placing was 4th. He got to G7 and did well at Champ, his highest placing being 4th.


Highfield Princess
Owned by: Debbie Prince

Pet names: Poppy. Her other nicknames include Popadom and Poopey

Breed: Working Labrador Retriever

Age: Born 23 July 2010

About retirement: I had planned to run her at Intermediate in 2020 and then retire her in 2021 as she is now 10 1/2 years old. Covid restrictions meant early retirement so unfortunately she never got to run at the new height. There is more to life than Agility.

Describe your dog: A little black Lab, Poppy was originally bought for my husband to take shooting, but I ended up training her! This wee dog has been my soul mate and has seen me through illness, bereavement and hard times. She has taught me so much about both Obedience and Agility. I pray that I have her for many more years.

Achievements: Poppy has been a wonderful dog, winning me from Grade 1 to Grade 5 in a career spanning six years. She was a consistently placed dog at each grade and has been awarded the highest Agility Warrant - Diamond. In 2016, she won the Scottish Kennel Club qualifier, taking us to Discover Dogs where she qualified us for Crufts in 2017. We competed in the Novice ABC and came 6th in each round and 4th overall. In her last year, I competed her whenever possible at Lower Height and in 2016 she also won the Low 550 Jumping Qualifier and was Runner Up in the Scottish Final. Her career was cut short as I had a bout of illness which resulted in 18 months away from Agility. When we returned to the ring in late 2019, she won her first Grade 5 class.


Bridget Lisicki

Owned by: Debbie Prince

Pet name: Pippa

Breed: German Shepherd Dog

Age: 8 years - Born 15 June 2012

About retirement: Pippa missed out on 18 months of competition when I was ill so I ran her at lower height. I would have run her at 500 in 2020,
but sheíll be nine next year and I feel for a German Shepherd that's a bit old to keep hips and joints healthy, hence her retirement.

Describe your dog: She was my very first German Shepherd. I had wanted a GSD since I was six so she is a very special dog for me. Unfortunately she doesn't always do 'what it says on the tin.' She is a very able dog who frequently decides NOT to do! She has been hard work, but I have learned so much from her as well.

Achievements: She started in Grade 3 and throughout her career she won several rosettes - one or two even within course time. After several years of cajoling, she finally won out of Grade 3 (twice) so she is retiring at Grade 4. Phew!


Harrjak Taking the Mick
Owned by: Georgina & Glynn Davies

Pet names: Mickey (aka Mickey Marmite which was his nest name and it's kinda stuck.)

Breed: Border Collie

Age: 10 years old in April 2020.

About retirement: I was hoping we would be able to do a few Veteran and Anysize classes - and maybe we will next year.

Describe your dog: He is an amazing dog, a real workaholic and always gives his all. At home, he is usually found asleep on our bed! He is a big goof ball and loves people.

Achievements: He reached the dizzy heights of Grade 7.


Shanandi Wild Poppet
Owned by: Alyson Walker

Pet name: Poppy

Breed: Miniature Poodle

Age: 10 years old

About retirement: Poppy was going to compete at the Adams show in September 2019 but alas all the shows were cancelled. I realised that the aches and pains and pulled muscles meant it was time to step back. Covid had made the decision for us.

Describe your dog: She came to us when she was just seven weeks old. She seemed such a tiny dog after having had Belgian Shepherds. At the age of three months, She contracted a virus which almost cost her life but she survived. She was always full of life and had lots of energy and took to Agility like a duck to water.
She always wants to get it right. She seemed to have an on/off switch. She could stand quietly in the queue ready to go into the ring. Then on her release word, she would be off like a rocket.

Achievements: Poppy made it all the way to Grade 7, winning against bigger and faster dogs. Running In 2013 we were so proud to win Starters Cup at Discover Dogs, with me limping around with a torn calf muscle and Poppy barking at me to say hurry up. By 2019 she had made all the Champ finals bar one in which she was entered. Thank you to Penelope Lowes who handled her at Champ shows and was able to keep up with her.


Ragamuffty Tuffty
Owned by: Tracey Stiff

Pet name: Tuft (aka Scruffawuffalump and Tuffers)

Breed: Crossbreed

Age: 8 years

About retirement: Although eight years is not that old, I have made the decision to retire her, especially in the current covid situation of not knowing when we will be able to return to our hobby. Tuft still loves learning tricks and seeing her friends, 2 and 4 legged, she loves life, her countless toys and her home comforts.

Describe your dog: Tuft came to me at nine months of age from Many Tears Rescue. I had wanted a small scruffy dog for a long time and, after losing out on a litter, a friend sent me a picture of Scarlet' which is what she was called at the time. I was smitten as she was just what I had been looking for. Everything seemed to fall into place as if it was meant to be. Tuft fitted in really easily with our collies as she was outgoing and friendly. On the night I brought her home, she fell asleep in my arms as if she'd always been there. I started to train her and, although I did not get her with agility in mind, she seemed to love it. As long as you had a toy for her - especially a squeaky tennis ball - she'd do anything.

Achievements: Tuft went quickly from G3 to G7 with many successes. although at times, she'd get what I'd affectionately call 'little dog syndrome' when she would decide that she wouldn't run or perhaps stop and sniff and switch off. She became very good at jumping over the down contacts in the ring, whilst at training she'd run right through them.

About the compiler...
Donna Lewis
has been competing in Agility for over 30 years now. She is not a particularly well known competitor except in her small circle of friends and trainers. She enjoys being a little bit crazy, a little ditsy, funny and quirky.

Pre-lockdown she ran 2 x Chinese Cresteds, Sheltie and a crossbreed. In the past she has run a GSD, Staffie X and a Poodle X. She has made it to the dizzy heights of Crufts as a member of a Small Crufts Team for the past 10 years and made several appearances at Discover Dogs Mini Mixi finals and even a place on the GB Small squad, but little Flora, her Crestie, became epileptic and had to withdraw.

Donna is a Senior Measurer for the Kennel Club. She is also participating in APDT training courses and has completed training to work with people to treat animals in a therapeutic way

She is a full time teacher in a Special Educational Primary School with an interest in trauma, attachment and enjoys her therapeutic work with pupils and their families.

First published 7th January 2021

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