World’s Recap

Written By: Jean Emery - October• 13•11

              The 2011 FCI World Agility Championships are over.  For those of us who watched from a hemisphere away, it was an exciting event with insanely difficult courses, an abundance of lithe, long-legged handlers, enviably responsive and agile dogs and a perilously slick surface that looked to me like it came off a roll of indoor/outdoor carpeting at Wal-Mart.

              Champions have been crowned in three jump heights–individuals and teams.  Among them was USA’s own Ashley Deacon and his 9-year-old Pyrennes Shepherd Luka.  They were in 11th place following the individual jumpers round and blew away the competition in Round Two to take the gold.  Ashley and Luka are the second team on the video.

USA FCI WC 2011 Tori Self Rev Large Tm Jump. Ash Deacon Luka Med Gold Medal.

   Ashley and Luka have been to the Worlds before and have won multiple USDAA and AKC national championships, so you might say they are old hands at rising to the occasion for those big moments, but another member of the USA Team deserves special accolades for a spectacular debut – Tori Self and her dog Revolution.  They were the first team you saw on the previous video.  The 19-year-old University of Florida student laid down arguably the most consistent performances of a wonderfully talented large dog team.  Rev dropped one bar in their first jumpers run and the double in their team standard run and ran clean in their two other runs, posting the fastest time of all large dogs in Team Jumping and a fifth place finish in Individual Agility.  Ah, to have Tori’s composure at any age . . . You can see her runs and let her tell her own story about the experience at her blog here. Special thanks, too, to Marquand Cheek for compiling the above video and for his single-handed, near minute-by-minute coverage of the event on Facebook and YouTube.

              Not to take anything away from the great achievements of Ashley, Tori and the medal winners, but for me one of the finest moments of the competition came with the second to last run of the event.  Two time World Champion Lisa Frick of Austria stepped to the line with her border collie Hoss.  A dastardly complex agility course had devoured the world’s best teams.  Lisa and Hoss were only 0:21 behind the leader and had every possibility of repeating as champions for a third year in a row.  What happened next demonstrates that you don’t have to be the winner to be a champion–and a hero to many.  

Lisa Frick, AUT, Agility Large, Agility WC 2011

              Wouldn’t you agree we’d all do well to emulate such sportsmanship?

              If you haven’t seen enough brilliant agility, or missed the World Team coverage, you have another chance as the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) Cynosport World Games are underway this week in Louisville, Kentucky.  These are what most of us call the USDAA Nationals and much of the event is being live-streamed at www.cynosport.tv.  The cost is just $15 and includes coverage of preliminary rounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a three-camera hosted broadcast of the Performance Grand Prix this Friday night, the $10,000 Steeplechase and Speed Jumping Finals on Saturday night, and DAM Team, PVP and Grand Prix finals on Sunday.  Video on demand available for 45 days after the event is included in the purchase price.  You can follow results and learn more about the games at www.usdaa.com

              How about planning a little agility “superbowl” viewing party for you and your agility friends this Sunday?  I am.

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