Here we go again, Agility Team GB 2018 the journey to The Netherlands, Austria and Sweden starts next month.
The teams annual activities start with the selection for the senior squad i.e. anyone but juniors. This year we had two new categories of handlers included in our selections.
- Juniors who had represented Team GB at the EOJ but are now too old for juniors, ‘aged-out’ and,
- Handlers on the Development Squad. These are the handlers ‘spotted’ in 2017 as potential future team members.
This year we also introduced an automatic squad qualification threshold of 70 points. So there are a number of handlers who automatically gain a squad place through this route.
Then we have this years team members who are given a squad place because they represented their country this year. There were two reasons this change was introduced two years ago.
- If a dog & handler partnership are good enough to represent their country in July / October, then they should be good enough to be considered for the squad in November and,
- I want to encourage team members to focus on the championships they’ve been selected for, not chasing around the UK for squad points for the following year.
Our other squad selection considerations include: if we have enough pedigree dogs in the squad at each height (only pedigree dogs can enter the World Championships); previous experience at high pressure events; personal circumstances and many other factors.
Our objectives for the squad selection is to:
A). Have a pool of dedicated, committed elite dogs & handlers to select from for the teams going to the EOs (Austria) and the FCI World Championships (Sweden) and,
B). Develop future partnerships who we believe will win medals at international competitions.
So after the excitement of being selected the work starts. The first squad day is in December where handlers will learn about what they need to do to be selected for the 2018 teams.
You can find out who is the 2018 squad tomorrow (13/11/2017) at the KC International Agility web page.