Neil has been competing in agility for 14 years, and began his career as a judge in 2009. Since then he has built a reputation as being one of the leading judges in the UK at just 24 years of age. Neil, a newly appointed Kennel Club member, is the youngest Championship Level Judge to have been approved. He is regularly responsible for judging qualifiers for the sport’s most illustrious finals, as well as judging Team Tryouts for international competitions.
Neil started 2018 with a high profile appointment at Luxembourg’s FCI Winter Cup Finals in February. Going into the 2018 season Neil has the following premium appointments: Assistant Judge at Team GB’s Performance Weekend, Class Judge at the inaugural CSJ Agility Open, IMCA/PAWC World Championship finals and Team England & Wales WAO tryout events. Neil will also be issuing KC Championship Certificates (CCs) for all heights in 2018, as well as supporting Alan Mitchell by judging the CC jumping round at Nottingham DTC. Neil has already been appointed the Crufts YKC Agility Judge for 2020.
Neil continues to strive for excellence in course design and professionalism in judging with every appointment he undertakes. Through his 10 years experience, Neil has come to understand what it takes to design fun and fast courses that are appropriate for the grade and competition, but are most importantly safe for competitors and dogs alike. Neil is extremely passionate about supporting judges of all levels and experience with every aspect of course design to promote confidence and maintain high standards of judging.
Since Neil began judging 10 years ago, he has seen the increasing amount of pressure and scrutiny placed on the judges of our sport. It is apparent that the love of judging is slowly dwindling, as judges are not being provided with sufficient advice and support about such things as course design, rule clarification and appropriate skill setting…he wants to change this. He wants to provide impartial advice and support for judges to utilise at every single judging appointment.
Neil also feels that it is so important for people to be able to have quick and easy access to course plans they have either seen, or got to run on. Being able to draw out certain elements and skill sets from courses and utilise them in your own training programme is vital to consolidating your learning and also pushing you and your dogs to the next level. That is why Neil is offering access to his course plans through his website, for all to see and use, whenever they like.
Agility is becoming an increasingly competitive sport worldwide. What we expect our dogs to be capable of doing, and the methods by which we teach these skills is constantly growing and developing. This in turn creates greater expectations on Judges, notably in the last 18 months. Neil’s aim is to provide a service that helps raises standards of judging through supporting and instilling confidence, as well as giving competitors skill sets to support their own training programmes and support the development of standards across agility in the UK and worldwide.