A FOREST man and his dog saw off competition from hundreds of others to win their class in a world-renowned agility contest last weekend.

Mark Den Dunnen, 45 and from Lydney, and his dog Skadi, a five-year-old Border Collie, were crowned winners of The Kennel Club Intermediate Dog Agility Stakes final on Saturday, December 16 at The London International Horse Show at ExCeL London.  

Mark and Skadi competed in qualifying heats across the country to earn one of just ten places in the intermediate final.

The Kennel Club Agility Stakes is one of the most prestigious agility competitions in the world.

Proud owner Mark said of his win: “I am so proud of my achievement and winning the agility round in the morning. 

“It is my second time at this competition with Skadi.”

Held in association with Skinner’s dog food, the competition saw top agility stars of the highest grades who had earned qualification throughout the year compete in five height finals across small, medium, large, intermediate and large ABC (Anything But Collie) categories.

Ben Skinner, of Skinner’s, commented: “Many congratulations to Mark and Skadi for such a fantastic performance at this year’s Kennel Club Agility Stakes. 

“We are pleased to be supporting this prestigious competition which always brings a great level of excitement and demonstrates world-class agility by all competitors.”

Catherine Guiver, Head of Events at The Kennel Club, said: “Congratulations to Mark and Skadi for their impressive performance, the pair demonstrated excellence in the final and should feel very proud of their win. 

“The Kennel Club Agility Stakes is a tough competition and requires dedication from all competing dogs and their handlers throughout the training and qualifying process.”

More information on qualification and a full list of results are available at thekennelclub.org.uk/TheKennelClubAgilityStakes.

The Kennel Club is a UK-wide organisation devoted to dog health, welfare and training. It aims to ensure dogs live “healthy, happy lives with responsible owners”.  

For owners interested in getting started in agility, The Kennel Club has created a guide which can be found at thekennelclub.org.uk/newtoagility.