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Dogs ready to prove their moves at Olympia
Buy this photo » 8-Year-old Ostara in action. Pictures: OX62877 Ric Mellis
MORE dogs from Oxfordshire have qualified for the finals of the Kennel Club’s annual agility competition than from any other county.
The eight dogs of all breeds will have their fitness and obedience tested at London’s Olympia stadium just before Christmas.
Animals from Oxford, Banbury and Cholsey have made it through in four of the five categories.
The finals will be held from December 18 to 22 as part of the London International Horse Show.
Jeff Walton, 43, from Oxford, will compete with his Border collie Buzz in the novice competition.
The professional dog trainer, from Chalgrove, said: “I’m really excited about going to Olympia – this is the third time for me and the second time for Buzz, as we made it to the finals last year.
“In the morning run he just clipped a pole last year, so we are hoping to go one better this year.”
Mr Walton, who trains puppies and dogs in agility, has also taken his dogs to Crufts, but said he preferred Olympia.
He said: “What an atmosphere – and Buzz loved it there.”
There are five different categories in the competition – small, medium, large, novice and ABC (anything but collies).
To get to this stage the dogs have battled through regional rounds.
Jenny Kimber, 23, from Oxford, will be competing with Border collie Guv, owned by Jenny Lovegrove.
Ms Kimber said: “Getting to Olympia is a huge achievement. I can’t wait to experience the atmosphere as I’ve never done anything like it before.”
Two competitors from Banbury have also made it to the finals. Sharon Banks, 44, will be competing with Border collies Cerys, owned by Kim Watts, in the large competition, and Sky in the novice competition.
Michelle Griffiths, 49, will be competing with her Belgian shepherd dog Jazz in the ABC category.
She said: “I am hugely delighted to have qualified for Olympia as I’ve been trying for ages”
Lorna and Simon Peachy, from Cholsey, near Wallingford, will be competing with their Border collies in the large competition and Alison Roets and Rob Evans, from Goring-on-Thames, will be competing with their Border collies.
Ms Roets, 35, will be competing with Ostara in the large competition and Mr Evans, 48, with Freya in the medium competition.
s For more information about the competition and other events, go to thekennelclub.org.uk
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