World Agility Championships
World Team in Italy: Day Five

September 24: Montechairi, Italy

Individual Small Dogs Jumpers

This morning was the opening day to the World Agility Trials in Montechairi, where 34 countries were ready to participate.

After the parade of Nations, the small dogs started running the individual competition. The course was a fast, flowing with multiple handler restrictions and obstacle discrimination.

There were a total of 68 dogs entered with only 26 running clean. Running for the AKC World Team was Erin Schaffer and Jag, Barbara Bicksler and Sydney and Kimberly Sisak and Pheobe, unfortunately, they all had faults in their runs.

The next event to be run is the Medium dogs-individual and from the AKC World Team are Jean Lavalley and Taz, Barb Davis and Shimmer and Joy Bishop and Keen. So far the dogs and handlers have handled the 2x3 squares of carpet pieced together over concrete very well.

Click on image for larger view and caption.

Individual Medium Dog Jumpers

The Medium Dog individual jumping started with a bang as Jean Lavalley and Taz led the pack with a clean run and a time of 33:24.

Next for the AKC World Team was Joy Bishop and Keen who ran fast and clean with a time of 31:73. Our last individual run was Barb Davis and Shimmer who was having another great run until Shimmer dropped a bar on the double bar jump.

There were 61 runs in the medium dog group of which only 25 ran clean. The standings after one round was Joy Bishop and Keen in 1ST place followed by Jean Lavalley and Taz were in 10th place. This course was fast, flowing and had the same handler restrictions and challenges as the small dog course.

The Italian Judge, Paola Meroni, judged this course.

Individual Large Dog Jumpers

The large dog jumper's course proved to be equally as difficult as the small and medium dog courses. There continued to be handler restrictions, several 180-degree turns followed by back to back 270 turns. The first American's to run were Gerry Brown and Sterling. While their run was impressive, they unfortunately had an off course. The second team to run was Linda Mecklenburg and Awesome. They preformed flawlessly and turned in a time of 35.03. This earned her 16th place in the overall standings. The final participant for the United States was Chris Parker and Mayhem. Chris had an inspiring run, unfortunately, they incurred a refusal fault at the weave poles.

Small Dog Team Standard

The team competition is comprised of three dogs and handlers. Their combined time plus any faults are accumulated over the three runs. The standard course was fast and flowing and allowed the handlers to open up their dogs. There were not as many handler restrictions and a few challenges that required the handlers to work the course. The first American to run for the small team was Glenda Timmerman and Bailey. They worked well as a team and blazed to a finishing time of 43.26 with no faults. The second team member was Barbara Bicksler and Sydney. Barb and Sydney rocketed to the finish line in perfect form with a time of 42.42 . Erin Schaefer and Jag ran the anchor leg and while they were impressive, they unfortunately had an off course. At the conclusion of the small dog standard class the American team found themselves in 12th place.

Medium Dog Team Standard

The Medium Dog team was comprised of Barb Davis and Shimmer, Jennifer Crank and Guess and Jean Lavalley and Taz. The Medium dog team was first to take the course. The course was similar to that of the small dog course. The dogs were afforded and opportunity to stretch their legs in a more open course. While there were some tricky spots that made the handler work the course, the course was faster and flowed. The first American to take to the field was Barb Davis and Shimmer. Barb and Shimmer showed the world their stuff in a flawless run in a time of 46.60. Our Junior Handler, Jennifer Crank and Guess were second to take the field. Not allowing the pressure of her first world agility event to distract her, Jennifer and Guess completed the course in 40.72, incurring no faults. Finally, the anchor of the team, Jean Lavalley and Taz. Their speed and accuracy thrilled the spectators and brought everyone to their feet. Jean and Taz finished the course in 41.20. After all 22 countries ran the AKC Team is in a strong 3rd place position. Saturday they will run their Team Jumping event to determine final medal placements.

This concludes the first day of competition. While it was a long day, starting at 7:30 am with the parade of nations and ending with the final runs at 8:30pm, the atmosphere was electric. Spectators from 28 countries cheered each individual dog and handler team. It is an awesome sight to see so many wonderful runs.