It was finally happening! After 14 months, ten qualifiers, held from Dundee to Roseland, The 2005 First Contact Starter Agility Final took place on the evening of Saturday June 18th.The venue, a picturesque valley in the heart of Derbyshire was the setting for the North Derbyshire Dog Agility Festival. Some lovely glass trophies and a voucher for £100.00 of agility equipment was the prize on offer. After a successful and sweltering day of competitions, the temperature was cooling and the anticipation was rising for the finalists. The crowd was gathering as the judge Mr Dick Farrar was setting a suitably challenging agility course for the 36 competitors.

With the running orders drawn, the course set and Nigel Davis on the microphone it was time to start the final.

First to go was Nic Hanekom with Wildcap Kaos who set the standard with a blistering clear round in a time of 30.88. The next 5 dogs unfortunately, picked up a variety of faults leaving Nic still in the lead. Running 7th was Wendy Dickson and her 5 year old collie, Warbrook Star Dreamer. This pair managed to get the fastest time of the competition of 29.97, proving Nic’s time could be beaten, but they picked up 5 faults to put them out of the places. Next to go was Samantha Lindsey with her rescue dog, Whispers Little Secret – a clear round in 38.74 seconds – not bad for a dog found in a wheelie bin! Another 3 dogs ran before we were to get our next two clears Sue Choux and Lunalites Sassy Lassy in a time of 35.66 and Judith Leonard and Dancing Kie, clear in 34.11. Jane McAfee and Comebyandaway Glen (who is her first dog) ran 19th with a clear in 33.80 to eventually finish in 4th place. Angela Crockford and her 31/2 year old Border collie, Miraje Black Saphire were 25th to run, this pair had Nic on the edge of his seat as they completed a very fast clear round, but he could breathe a sigh of relief as the time flashed up on the display – 30.95, a tenth of a second slower.

Jenny Borriello and Tessa White Sox, who qualified at Caerphilly the previous May, also had Nic biting his nails when they did a lovely clear round in a time of 31.77 to take the 3rd place trophy. It was smiles and congratulations all round in Nic’s corner when the time for the last competitor to run, Emma Tabb and Salix Repens’ clear came up at 39.04. He had managed to hold on to his lead from the start.

Congratulations to Nic and Kaos on having achieved so much over the 18 months that they have been together, winning out of starters and novice and now winning this final.
Out of the 36 dogs that ran, there were 13 clears, 6 with 5 faults and 10 eliminations with only 1 combination running outside the course time of 55 seconds.

Well done and thank you to all the competitors who provided us with an entertaining final, the clubs that hosted the qualifiers, our judges and ring parties throughout the year, Nigel Davis for commentating and thank you to Jackie Kenny and North Derbyshire Dog Agility Club for hosting the final.

David Bew and Hazel Higgins.
First Contact Agility.

1st Nic Hanekom Wildcap Kaos WSD C 30.83
2nd Angela Crockford Miraje Black Saphire BC C 30.95
3rd Jenny Borriello Tessa White Sox BC C 31.77
4th Jane McAfee Comebyandaway Glen BC C 33.80
5th Judith Leonard Dancing Kie WSD C 34.11
6th Yvonne Goode Backstreet Buster Boy X C 34.91
7th Mike Welch Clayburn Clinton WSD C 35.31
8th Sue Choux Lunalites Sassy Lassy BC C 35.66
9th Anna Dunstan Phantom of Valgray WSD C 36.12
10th Sam Allbut Pippa’s No Angel X C 36.44