Mark Laker

Mark started dog agility training when the sport was still quite young over 20 years ago with a rescue bearded collie cross called Jing.  At that time he trained with Sandleford Agility club in Newbury.

“I can still recall my first agility show in Kent. I came 2nd in the starters agility. My trainer, Ian won the class, he told me that if I’d beaten him I’d be walking home!”

In the early 1990’s Mark & Karen set up their first agility training school at Goodworth Clatford.   

“We were travelling over 70 miles a week to train our dogs. We needed somewhere closer with indoor

UpAndOver Agility club was born. Over the next few years they moved to a few different venues until settling at Hurstbourne Equestrian Centre at Hurstbourne Priors. This gave Mark the opportunity to really focus on top-level agility.

Since these early days Mark and his wife Karen have delivered seminars and training events in many places across the UK and The Netherlands and Portugal.

In 2012 Mark and his business partner Steve Croxford launched Agility 1st Crufts. This new business delivers high quality training and coaching programmes for agility instructors. Agility 1st has close links to the Kennel Club and aims to train instructors to a National Coaching accreditation.

Ag. Ch Bekkis Carbon Copy

While all of Mark’s dogs have reached the top classes Kodi (Ag Ch Bekkis Carbon Copy) has been Mark’s most successful agility dog to date.  Highlights of Kodi’s agility career include: 

  • Winning their first CC at Newton Heath
  • Winning UKA Nationals
  • Qualifying twice for Olympia finals
  • March 2009, Kodi's first appearance at Crufts in Champ final and Crufts Singles.
  • 2009, Kodi wins two more CC's to become Agility Champion Bekkis Carbon Copy. The first Bekkis Agility Champion.
  • May 2009, Kodi member of Team GB at the European Open in The Netherlands. We finished 4th in the individual final.

His current young agility dog Devo, works at G7 and shows a lot of potential for the future.  One of Mark’s specialist areas is sports psychology, which he combines with his business skills to coach high performing athletes.

In October 2012 Mark was appointed as Team GB International Manager and coached the team to their most successful performance at the European Open in Belgium.