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Agility Team GB Scoop Hat-Trick of Medals at European Open Championships

Posted on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 10:15AM by

Medal winners - L- R Matt Goodliffe, Sian Illingworth & Natasha Wise
Photo by Ian Watts

Last year there was Olympic glory for Team GB, last month there was Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory and now, in another sporting triumph, Agility Team GB have beaten the world’s best agility dogs to scoop gold, silver and bronze medals at this weekend’s European Open Agility Championships in Neeroeteren, Belgium.

Sian Illingworth and her dog, Maybe, beat nearly 200 competitors from all over the world to bring home gold in the European Open Medium Individual Final, and current World Champion, Natasha Wise and her dog Dizzy, took home silver.

Competing for the first time at the European Open and up against nearly 400 other dogs, Matthew Goodliffe and his dog Quincy won the bronze medal in the European Open Large Individual Final.

The European Open Agility Championships attracted hundreds of dogs and handlers from all across the world, with 33 countries represented at the competition including Venezuela, Japan, South Africa and Canada.

Agility Team GB also managed several clear rounds throughout the final competition, which helped to make 2013 the team’s most successful year to date at the Championships.

Alongside the medal winners there were many commendable feats achieved by other members of Team GB.

Team GB achievements were as follows:

Gold – Sian Illingworth and Maybe, Medium Individual Final
Silver – Natasha Wise and Dizzy, Medium Individual Final
Bronze – Matthew Goodliffe and Quincy. Large Individual Final
First place – Sian Illingworth and Maybe, Medium Individual Agility Round
Second place – Shaun Hunt and Phix, Large Individual Agility Round
Fourth place – Natasha Wise and Dizzy, Medium Individual Agility Round
Fourth place – Matthew Goodliffe and Quincy, Large Individual Jumping Round
Fifth place – Bernadette Bay and Zaz, Small Individual Final
Joint Fifth place – Team Red (Great Britain), Small/Medium Team Final

Despite long days with temperatures soaring over 30 degrees, huge thunderstorms and floods, there was great team morale throughout the whole competition, which can only have aided the team’s accomplishments in the ring.

Team Manager Mark Laker commented on the success of the team: “This was a fantastic result for Team GB at the 2013 European Open. I'm extremely proud of everyone in this year’s team - the sponsors, support team, grooms, my assistants and of course the competitors all helped to make this one of the most successful teams we've taken to this competition. Huge congratulations to our medal winners Matt Goodliffe & Quincy, Natasha Wise & Dizzy and Sian Illingworth & Maybe. You competed with the best and put in a world class performance.”

Ceri Rundle, CSJ’s founder and sponsor of Team GB said: “We’re all so chuffed that the team achieved such great success at the European Open this year.  We are proud to be supporters of Team GB for the next three years.”

Agility Team GB is supported by the Kennel Club, CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, the Kennel Club’s preferred cross-channel partner. The team of fifteen handlers and their dogs were chosen following a performance weekend which attracted entrants from all over the UK, and was hosted by Lincoln Agility Enthusiasts at its Open Agility Show in April 2013.  

Details of the Team GB squad:

(Small/Medium Team) GB Union Jacks

Sian Illingworth (C) with Border Collie - Arnpriors Made Of Honour             
David Wright with Miniature Poodle - Shanandi Strike It Lucky                
Louise Eden with Shetland Sheepdog - Clanavon Misty Shadow      
Nicola Wildman with Australian Kelpie - Za Zar Zoom    
(Small/Medium Team) GB Red

Natasha Wise (C) with Border Collie - Ag Ch Raeanne's Flipping Heck  
Steve Richardson with crossbreed - Ag Ch Noworries Sweep's Dream  
Rosie Cavill with Cocker Spaniel - Ag Ch Fieldspy Leana
Bernadette Bay with Shetland Sheepdog - Ag Ch Obay It's Got Pizzazz           
 (Large Team) GB White

Shaun Hunt (C) with Border Collie - Ag Ch Get Inna Phix                       
Ian Jackson with Border Collie - Darleyfalls at Midnight                    
Roger Teasdale with crossbreed - Petnat by Jingo                                
Karen Marriot with crossbreed -  Petnat A Touch Puzzling             
(Large Team) GB Blue

Greg Derrett (C) with Border Collie -  Ag Ch Nedlo Detox Sproglett    
Matt Goodliffe with Border Collie - Turboed Widewater Wizard            
Charlotte Harding with Border Collie - Ag Ch Rujaff Red Hot Scandal      

Full results and commentary for each round of the event can be found on the Dog Agility Facebook page .

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