A Reflection from Crufts 2014 by Alan Gardner

Arguably the biggest and most well-known dog show is ‘Crufts’. For agility competitors, this event marks the beginning of the season and kick starts with the Team and Individual Championship finals.

Team Final

 I represent the Beacon team which is actually the most local to where Crufts is based at the NEC in Birmingham. This means we receive a fair amount of local support. My dog for this event – Jaidi – was competing at Crufts for the first time.

Beacon 2014 (Large)

The Beacon Team pictured above from left to right: Alan Gardner  with Jaidi, Mark Wassell  with Tag, Nicola Garret with Wych and Fiona Vaughan with Mac.

The Team event features four dogs and handlers, who must pass a baton between them as each dog runs after the previous, with no time for stopping! This adds an increased level of difficulty for the handler as they need to watch the previous handler as well as maintaining control over their dog.

The event features a semi-final held in the morning and a final in the afternoon. There are eight teams running in total.

We finished 3rd in the semi-final, so giving us one of four places in the team final. Running second in the final, we put in a fantastic collection of rounds and incurred just five faults. Eventually this gave us the win. Personally I was proud of Jaidi who coped exceptionally well with the artificial grass surface and atmosphere in the arena.

You can see our final round at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wOdQlF1sfE

Jaidi goes at the 5.00 mark.

Championship Event

 In contrast Jude was competing at her seventh Crufts, and as she is 10-years-old now, in all probability, this was likely her last event at Crufts. Jude is probably better known as the dog on the VetSpec Active container. She is proof of how much VetSpec can aid a long working life.

The Championship event consists of two qualifying rounds and a final on Sunday afternoon, just before the ‘Best in Breed’ is judged.

We had two clear rounds in the final which gave us a place in the final round. Knowing that only a quick clear would give us any chance, we gave the round a 100% and finished 4th overall. Excellent for such a veteran agility dog!

You can see Jude’s round at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udveJjdDVhU

She starts at the 14.00 mark

To summarise, it truly was a ‘Crufts to remember’.

For more information contact us at www.smartpawsdogagility.com

JD crufts 2014 Jude Crufts 2014

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