Tactics and strategy are playing a much bigger part at the top level of the sport

Image (1)By Mark Laker

Where has the summer gone? I recall a few really hot days with the dogs either competing, out for walks or just lounging about in the garden, but July at the European Open with the juniors and then with the adult team seems ages ago.

In a weeks time we’ll be in Finland getting ready for the FCI Agility World Championships, the highlight of the year in the international dog agility calendar. With over 40 countries attending it promises to be an amazing competition. I’ll report back on this next month.

Talking about amazing competitions, earlier in the year we had a dog-swap at home (only for competition and training). I’m currently running Karen’s agility dog Rhyme and Karen is training and running Moog.  Rhyme’s a great all-round dog to train and compete with – we’ve had a lot of fun. We’ve also had some successes noticeable winning the championship class at Weardale show which qualified us for Crufts 2020. Karen and I are both really pleased with this result and I’m quite proud that Rhyme will the fourth agility dog that I’ve competed with on the famous green carpet.

I’ve also found it really interesting watching how the game is changing at the top level this year; especially in the championship classes. Tactics and strategy are playing a much bigger part at the top level of the sport. So much so that those handlers who are able to change their game plans to deal with pressure, course design and competition definitely have the competitive edge. This has always  been the case to some extent, however I’m seeing a noticeable change this year and a need for handlers to learn these skills.

So I had better get my game face sorted for Crufts 2020.

Best regards,


GB Team Captain

We’re happy to put Jack and Jazzer back on the road to recovery again

Bev Buckenham spoke to our nutrition expert Nicki, who helped advise her on the best feeds for her dogs with gluten and dental issues. The results were outstanding. Here’s what Bev has to say.
By Bev Buckenham
“I just wanted to say a huge thanks to the person I spoke to last week. I have been having your foods and treats for about 8 years now. I had dreadful problems finding a dog food which suited my rescue Lurcher. You thought she was gluten intolerant and following your advice I started her on one of your foods and we have had no trouble since.
Jack our Border terrier eats the same as Jazzy the Lurcher, but Jack has just had another dental which means he has had a total of 20 teeth out now. I didn’t think he would be able to eat the big rings of food anymore.
I spoke to a very helpful member of staff who sent me two lots of food which was smaller for him to try. He chooses the old champ. I ordered a bag on Saturday and it has just arrived. I owed you a bid thank you for sorting out Jazzy eight years ago and now I owe you another huge thanks for sorting out Jack….
You have been so helpful and I don’t know what I would have done without you when I got my rescue Lurcher, as everything I gave her was going straight through and she began to look so thin. It was only with your help I got her sorted out.
Now Jack has lost all his teeth, I came to you again as your foods have kept both of them very young, even though they are Jazzy now 10 and a half and Jack 12 and a half. I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for food.” Thank you very much. Bev

“Very Happy – never achieved so high a place in Obedience” Kath Hardman

1st B.jpgBy Kath Hardman

Here’s HTM Team Dog Denby with his first place prize from OBEDIENCE today at Worcester Show.   His first and my first ever win at level B!!   Just need 2 more B Wins and then get 3 qualifiers to compete for Crufts Tickets!

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Love the CSJ First Prize and funny seeing me in HTM Team GB on the cover of the enclosed magazine, plus a sample of the food I feed him, the Fruit ‘n’ Mutt !bar and a bottle of Turmertinc!  WOW!!

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2019 will likely go down in international agility history


By Mark Laker

2019 will likely go down in international agility history as the year the European Open was run at night. With day time temperatures in the high 30’s a decision was made to start the competition at 7pm and run until to midnight. Then start at 5am the following day and run until 10:30am. After that it was too hot for dogs and humans to be doing agility.

Team GB rose to the challenge of the disrupted time table and ended up having one of our most successful EO’s ever.

Our focus this year has been on improving consistency. Our results demonstrated we’ve done exactly that. 


5th places in all three individual events (S,M & L). The highest place’s we’ve ever achieved in the small and medium height categories.

All three large teams made the team relay final – we’ve never achieved that before either, with one team finishing 5th overall.

Ex-juniors and handlers from the development programme in the placed teams and individual placing. 

All these results show we’re improving across all three height categories and our various programmes are bringing competitive dogs and handlers through to the adult teams. Of course when we’re looking at elite performance against the best in the world, there are always improvement opportunities. However, I’m encouraged that despite the challenges of this year’s championships, the team performed exceptionally well, supported each other, remained upbeat and were well prepared for the courses the judges set.

Another highlight was the handing over of the EO flag to the UK. We host the championships in 2020 which is a really exciting prospect.


Best regards,


Mark Laker

UK Team Manager


CSJ works for Sarah Hawkins’ dogs in July working tests

By Sarah Hawkins

Sarah Hawkins2I entered two puppy working tests recently. On Saturday 13th July he wasn’t in the top placings, but he won the best puppy award for puppy 15 months and under ). On Sunday 14th July, we came second in puppy test. He is on CSJ Tripe and doing really well on it he is only 11.5 months old he will be 1 on the 22nd July.

I’ve been feeding CSJ since 2016  and have used different food for them. I found Hike On! works really well with the dogs – keeps the weight on when they are working in the shooting season. They also like Complete Tripe! as that had the joint supplement in it. As you can see they look fit happy and healthy on CSJ products. The CSJ nutritionist is very helpful and the service is great.

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Sven and Blitz won a 2nd place on the agility course at the European Open Agility


By Adelaine.Bastiaansen

Sven and Blitz had a 2nd place at the agility course on the European Open Agility Kreuzlingen, Switserland.

They started on Friday 12th of July with the jumping, but there was thunder, so Blitz was afraid and run away. Sunday the 14th, they had the agility course and went 2nd.


There where 25 dogs in his class and total there were 450 competitors.


This was already the 3rd time that Sven and Blitz were on the stage. Also in 2017, in Luxembourg and in 2018 in The Netherlands.




67560251_506825923454266_6596051073427832832_nWhat a fantastic International Gundog Competition



Compliments to the organisers, judges, helpers and all concerned for delivering such a wonderfully organised event.

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, each running 5 Retrievers and 5 Spaniels per team, and the International teams of 10 dogs, being marked out of a potentially maximum score of 1,200 points.

The competition as always was fierce over the two days,  but the camaraderie, sportsmanship and atmosphere was one of the best experiences ever, a real credit and advert for our sport.  After running 10 dogs each England ran out overall winners, 22 points behind England were Ireland in second place, and only 5 points separated Ireland and Wales, in third place. Scotland were in fourth place overall.

The International course was extremely well laid out causing all sort of challenges for both Retrievers and Spaniels who competed

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The Game Fair proved to be the best result for Welsh Spaniels since 2006. In a very close competition Wales ran out winners, with England 8 points behind in second, Ireland were third, 7 points behind England, with Scotland in fourth.

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The Wales Spaniel Team were superb:

  • David Gregory running Hillfighter Thresher and Draigoch Ella
  • Aled Jones running Barcudwen Molly and Barcudwen Mambo
  • Nathan Quinn running Tynywaun Beartrix

In addition Nathan ran out as Overall Top Spaniel in his first Game Fair, a fantastic achievement. This brilliant result was achieved despite losing two of our selected spaniels, having come into season the day before we travelled to the Game Fair.

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The Retriever Team ran out in third place overall  with England Retrievers worthy winners, 15 points behind England were Ireland in second and Wales in third place 20 points after Ireland with Scotland in fourth place:

  • Haydn Willmott with Stykes Boy Llangynidr
  • Andrew Fisher with Kaliture Rooster
  • Vikki Stanley with Minstead Maigret
  • Alan Rees with Fendawood Ecclestone at Delfryd
  • Nigel Probert with Stauntonvale Buckwheat of Llangynidr

The team and their travelling supporters were delighted to have Ceri and Phil of CSJ present at the weekend’s event. Their continued support and sponsorship is very much appreciated by us all.

In concluding I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to each and every one that have been involved with the Wales International Gundog Team this year. A big thank you for all your hard work and efforts!

Diolch yn Fawr

Alan Rees (Wales Captain)