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Pachesham Agility - Who We Are

Pachesham is a specialist Agility club run by Eleanor, Ian and Sophie Balchin. Between them Eleanor, Ian and Sophie have over 60 years of dog training experience, and have consistently maintained a top 5 position in the Premier Division of the Agility Club league tables. Eleanor, Ian and Sophie have also trained dogs for film and Television work, with credits including Disney's "101 Dalmations". Their daughter Sophie has been competing in agility since the age of 4, and first qualified for Crufts at the age of 6, competing there every year since. Sophie has won most of the Junior Finals including International Young Handler of the Year, twice.

Pachesham Agility training promotes positive reinforcement with a high emphasis on fun for both dog and handler. All our instructors compete at the highest level; in our opinion if you want to be the best you need to be taught by the best!

There are weekly classes for all levels and breeds, and Pachesham Agility also runs regular shows, tasters and training days.

Pachesham Agility are distributors for the CSJ brand of dog food. For directions to Pachesham Agility please visit our Directions page.

There are only 2 instructors at Pachesham Agility: Eleanor and Ian Balchin. Many agility clubs are run by handlers with little or no competition background - not at Pachesham Agility. Both Eleanor and Ian cotinue to compete at championship level.

If you train a dog to compete successfully the standards are higher and your requireed problem solving skills greater as you need your dog to produce the required behaviour consistently and whilst under pressure. At Pachesham Agility we believe there is no substitute for experience.

  • Eleanor started training dogs at the age of 11, and began competing in 1982. Starting with exemption shows she then tried her hand at obedience, showing, working trials and flyball before concentrating solely on agility. She qualified for Olympia in her first full season of agility and has remained at the top of her sport ever since, with a variety of sizes and breeds of dog, starting with Papillions, moving on to Border Collies, a variety of crossbreeds and currently with a Sheltie. All of her dogs have competed in agility at Crufts.

  • Ian started out with gundogs, running several Springer Spaniels. He bred a litter of Golden Retrivers before running a Phalene for many years, and now only has Border Collies. Ian instructed in obedience for many years before turning his hand to agility, which he has concentrated on ever since. He has recently achieved international success with Bess ("Darleyfalls Pick Me"), winning a Silver medal at the W.A.O.

  • Sophie Balchin was born into Agility. Where most children had imaginary friends, she had around fifty imaginary dogs. She did her first run aged four with her father's young dog and was given her own German Spitz to compete with when she was five. Age six, Sophie took her mother's border collie to Crufts, and then continued to qualify with six different dogs consistently for the next eleven years.

    In 2008, ten year old Sophie won the title of International Young Handler Under 12 with Fantastic Elastic (Breeze) and came back in 2009 to successfully defend her title, as well as wining the junior final at Dogs In Need in the same week. In 2012, whilst competing with Bess (Darleyfalls Pick Me) she won the Individual Open Junior Agility Championships Over 12 as well as the Team Event, the same team maintaining the title for the next three years and also coming second in the YKC Team event at Crufts.

    In more recent years, she and her mother came second in the Easter Celebration pairs final, competing with her Sheltie, Trouble and Crossbreed, Scrappy. Sophie also shocked everyone, including herself, by winning second in the International Young Handler, competing with Bess who was the oldest dog in the large. She has nearly fifteen years of experience, and many more to come.