Agile St Albans hound crowned top dog in Crufts competition

PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 March 2019

Agility Championship Final Large winner Dan Shaw and Geek  on Sunday March 10,  the fourth and final day of Crufts 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. Picture: BeatMedia

Agility Championship Final Large winner Dan Shaw and Geek on Sunday March 10, the fourth and final day of Crufts 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. Picture: BeatMedia

BeatMedia

An athletic pooch from St Albans has been crowned top dog in a category at Crufts.

Agility Championship Final Large winner Dan Shaw and Geek  on Sunday March 10,  the final day of Crufts 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. Picture: BeatMediaAgility Championship Final Large winner Dan Shaw and Geek on Sunday March 10, the final day of Crufts 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. Picture: BeatMedia

Greek triumphed in the large category of The Kennel Club Agility Championships at Crufts - a celebrated dog competition which was broadcast on Channel 4 and More 4 from March 7 to 10.

The border collie, who is owned by Dan Shaw, was up against eleven other pooches who had also won an Agility Certificate at a championship show in 2018.

The category tests both the animal’s fitness and the handler’s ability to direct the dog through and over numerous obstacles.

Dan said: “Winning hasn’t sunk in yet but I imagine it is a good feeling. This is the first time I’ve won such a big final so I’m not sure when it is going to – hopefully one day.

“Leading up to it I felt nervous as hell, sick, but excited.

“It was actually a really nice course. As soon as I saw it I knew I liked it. It was quite challenging and it suited my dog and it was fast.”

Crufts is organised by The Kennel Club, the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs.

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “Very well done to Geek and Dan on their brilliant achievement in the main arena, which showed that the pair had a really strong bond.

“All of the finalists of the Agility Championships should be very proud of their accomplishments, it is the most prestigious of all the agility competitions at Crufts and everyone who competed has done extremely well.”

Crufts was founded in 1891 by Charles Cruft, a former travelling salesman who flogged ‘dog cakes’ for a Holborn business run by James Spratt.

As he journeyed all over Europe, in 1878 French dog breeders invited Charles to organise the promotion of a canine section at the Parish Exhibition.

Back in England in 1886, Charles became the manager of the Allied Terrier Club Show at the Royal Aquarium in Westminster, and in 1891 the first ever Cruft’s show was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington. The apostrophe was dropped during a rebrand in 1974.

Charles passed away in 1938, just 12 years before the dog show was first broadcast by the BBC in 1950.

Greek’s category, Agility, was not introduced to the competition until 1978.

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