High Flyers are the new top dogs

PUBLISHED: 11:54 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

Just champion – the High Flyers team

Just champion - the High Flyers team

A DOG agility sports team won the British Flyball Championships at the weekend. The High Flyers, who are both based and train in Stevenage, took part in the competition at Holt Farm in Warwickshire on Sunday with five collies. Flyball is a team sport wher

A DOG agility sports team won the British Flyball Championships at the weekend.

The High Flyers, who are both based and train in Stevenage, took part in the competition at Holt Farm in Warwickshire on Sunday with five collies.

Flyball is a team sport where four dogs, with help from their handlers, compete in a relay race to be the first to complete a course of hurdles.

The teams race in separate lanes with each dog having to clear four hurdles, collect a tennis ball in their mouth which is released from the flyball box at the end, then race back over the same hurdles and cross the line before the next dog sets off.

The winning team is the first to get all four dogs to complete the course in the quickest time without incurring any faults.

Although the High Flyers only formed in September last year - competing in their first competition in November - the team has a wealth of experience in its ranks and is currently ranked as the number one seed in the country.

Speaking about their victory, Julie Jones, secretary and tournament organiser of the High Flyers said: "We were confident and hoping to do well because we did quite a bit of training and took part in a few competitions and the dogs were really fit. But to win was absolutely fantastic!

"It was a three-way tie because the racing was so close so in the end it was down to times.

"We were only in division four last year so to be in division one this year and to win the competition is unusual for a team because we've got there so quickly. However, it was down to a lot of hard work and teamwork."

The team's ambitions do not stop here.

Ms Jones added: "Next year we're thinking of going to the European Championships in Belgium but we're currently looking for sponsorship to help fund the trip."

l The team trains at Hampson Park in Stevenage on Saturdays at 2pm and Thursdays at 7pm during the summer months, encouraging dogs and handlers of all abilities to take part. If anyone is interested in participating in flyball or would like to sponsor the team call Julie Jones on 01438 238678.

The High Flyers will be appearing on BBC's One Show on Monday.

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