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Win for Yodel at Agility Stakes final

Beating hundreds of dogs and their handlers, a four-year-old Border Collie called Yodel and owner Lesley Olden, from Sherfield English, Hampshire, have won the Intermediate Agility Stakes final at one of the most prestigious agility competitions in the world.

Lesley and Yodel competed in agility qualifying heats across the country before winning the Intermediate final at The Kennel Club Agility Stakes, held at The London International Horse Show at ExCeL London. The judge this year was Kennel Club Championship agility judge, Gary Murphy, with assistant judge, David Isbister.

This was Lesley’s 30th time competing in The Kennel Club Agility Stakes, with a total of nine dogs, including Yodel, and this final marked her fifth win.

Proud owner Lesley said of their achievement: “The Kennel Club Agility Stakes started for me back in 1983, when I first qualified with a Collie called Nedlo Magic Midge. From then on I was hooked and Midge went on to win the final in 1986. Agility soon started to take over my life. I left my so-called ‘proper’ job at the bank to become a full-time agility trainer in 1999.

“However, after a long break from agility following major knee surgery, I truly believed I would never compete again, until Yodel came along in 2017. I was persuaded to train her and enter shows once more and I found myself back at the finals, 38 years after my first visit.

“When I looked up at the clock and saw Yodel had won, I was lost for words. I feel so humble that nine different dogs have taken me to The Kennel Club Agility Stakes final in 30 different years. The buzz and cheering of the crowd is just an unbelievable experience, I really can’t begin to explain. All I can say is thank you to all who made it happen.”

Held in association with Skinner’s, The Kennel Club Agility Stakes saw the stars of agility compete in five finals in the small, medium, large, intermediate and large ABC (Anything But a Collie) categories.

The Kennel Club Agility Stakes were held in association with The London International Horse Show, at ExCeL London, from 16 – 20 December 2021.

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