Neil has been competing in agility for 15 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 26 years of age. Neil, a Kennel Club member, was the youngest Championship Level Judge to have been approved at 24. He is regularly responsible for judging qualifiers for the sport’s most illustrious finals, as well as judging Team Tryouts for international competitions.
Neil’s 2019 judging campaign saw him travel overseas to 4 European Countries as well as fulfilling National appointments. These opportunities have proven priceless as Neil continues to learn and develop himself as a judge, taking in influences from around the world. Going into 2020 Neil continues his International duties as well as taking on his most prestigious appointment yet, Crufts YKC (Young Kennel Club) Agility Judge. All of the courses Neil has set at competitions are available on the website shortly after he has judged them.
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 12 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.