The UK Kennel Club has been selected to host the 2012 European Open Agility Championships – one of the world’s most prestigious international dog agility competitions – which is open to both pedigree and non-pedigree dogs, H&C has learned. The European Open will take place from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August 2012 at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire.
Kelmarsh Hall is also the regular venue for the Kennel Club’s own annual International Agility Festival, and the 2012 Festival will run over the weekend immediately following the European Open, offering international and domestic competitors the opportunity to take a ten-day agility holiday. Competitors may wish to take advantage of one of the planned ‘rest days’ in between to attend the Olympic events which will be taking place in and around London at the same time.
The European Open competition, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012, has become increasingly international in scope with teams from countries such as Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States of America attending in recent years. The 2009 championship in the Netherlands featured teams from 27 countries.
The European Open is officially recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), and its rules are based on the FCI agility regulations of 2007. However, non-pedigree dogs may be entered into the European Open alongside pedigree dogs. The Kennel Club will be the first non-FCI member to organise the European Open – the Kennel Club works closely with the FCI but is not a member.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The Kennel Club is immensely proud to have been chosen to host the 2012 European Open, and delighted to have the opportunity to further consolidate the UK’s leading position amongst the world agility community.”