Six of the best agility dogs in the country were awarded spots on the 2010 AKC World Agility Team last weekend. The team will represent the U.S. at the FCI Agility World Championships in Germany next October.
Top agility dogs and their handlers gathered from May 7-9 at the Leatherdale Equine Center in Roseville, Minn., for the 2010 AKC/USA Agility World Team Tryouts. Although the weather was rather chilly and rainy for a spring weekend, the atmosphere inside the arena was warm and friendly.
According to the rules for the tryouts, the goal was “to create the most competitive team possible, while still keeping an eye on the future growth of the sport, balancing elements such as experience, growth, speed and consistency.”
AKC Agility Director Andy Hartman said that a new team is created each year. “We start over every year, so the dogs have to try out again to get on the team,” he said.
To be eligible to compete in the tryouts, dogs must have achieved scores of 100 (indicating a clean round) and a minimum rate of speed in both standard class and JWW (jumpers with weaves) class. They must also have earned a minimum of four “double Qs” (qualifying in both classes on the same day). No mutts are allowed – dogs must have a three-generation pedigree and an AKC registration number. (The new AKC Canine Partners program allows mixed breeds to compete in other agility events.)
Congratulations to these six pairs who secured spots on the team last weekend. The remaining six team members will be announced next week.
Karen Holik and her Sheltie, Sizzle
Diane Goodspeed and her Sheltie, Demon
Goodspeed is the only newcomer among the handlers on the team. Mantell, Gamel, Holik and Fosty were all on the 2009 team. Smorch was on the 2003 team. In addition to being 2009 team members, Holik was also on the 2003 and 2005-2008 teams, Gamel was on the 2005-2008 teams, and Mantell was on the 2007-2008 teams.
i Love Dogs is proud to be the exclusive sponsor of the AKC/USA Agility World Team. “i Love Dogs’ sponsorship makes this all possible for us,” Hartman said. “It really means the world to us – no pun intended.”
You can help support this year’s team by purchasing a 2010 AKC/USA Agility World Team shirt from our online store.
PHOTO: American Kennel Club