Ashley Whippet World Championships!
New Champion Crowned!
By Matt DiAno
Sepember/October 2010 Online Web Article – Follow up to the article that appeared in Sept/Oct 2010 Issue – The World Finals!
The finals world championship results!
357…not a random number or the caliber of a handgun, but this is the total number of teams who took part in the 2010 Ashley Whippet Invitational World Tour!! These teams were a caliber higher than any handgun as they represented their clubs, their sponsors, our sport, themselves and most importantly their dogs, with class and grace.
And standing on top of it all when the dust settled and the sun dropped down over the treetops in Naperville, Illinois, was Harley Davidson and Lawrence Frederick…..AGAIN. After a stellar performance in 2008 to win their first AWI World Championship, Harley and LF come roaring back in 2010 with a beautiful, decisive victory over an incredibly stacked field. The running order was a virtual who’s who of disc dogging, a few teams unfortunately could not make it, but this field did not need to be even stronger than it already was!!
After a first round dominated by stellar performance from two Texas teams, Chuck Middleton and Pennie Mahon were standing in 2nd and 1st overall, just itching to bring the Lander Cup back down South. Their dogs, Bling Bling and Psych are littermates and after having watched 5 pups from the litter compete, I have to say, mother Little whelped the 1995 Chicago Bulls with that litter.
Other first round standouts were The Edge and Darron barrus nailing almost every one of his crazy, innovative throws, and who can forget Raccoon Jack helping Tracy Custer nail down a round with not a single drop.
Perennial favorites Mark Muir, Danny Eggleston and Preston Dean turned in solid performances, newer teams Mike Hanson, Jonathan Offi and Andrew Han, and seasoned pros like the Curtiss family, Chris Sexton and Nate Bednar all were “on” but this weekend it took something very special to be at the top. Putting out a great round wasn’t going to guarantee anything, you needed the round of a lifetime to be on top of this group.
After BOTH of them put up 19.5 in their Toss & Catch, it looked as if Chuck and Pennie might make this a Lone Star Showdown….but there was still a second round of freestyle to be run. With no cut, every team got a second round, and these teams took advantage of it. Suddenyl the freestyle scores were creeping into the 37’s and one team managed to nab a 39.1!! Judges Kerry Samet, Gail Mirabella, Bill Keller and Gary Suzuki had their work cut out for them as they watched the best in the world, put their best on the field.
Zorra and Lawrence pulled in that 39.1 but it wasn’t quite enough…..they tied Raccoon Jack and tracy for 2nd place, but with the 10.0 catch ration from her amazing first round, Tracy Custer breaks the tie and takes second in the AWI with Lawrence nabbing another podium spot, a very respectable third with Zorra.
After the rounds were done and the scores calculated by Eric Hemmeter, and ALL the incredible help from Tom, Chris, Vicki and Ginny Wehrli (and former Wehrlis) we made our way over to the pavilion for a catered meal from Qdobas.
The center piece of the banquet was, of course, the Lander Cup, but new this year is the perpetual trophy honoring the winner of the Total Performance Toss & Catch Division, the beautiful crystal Total Performance Dog Bowl. In it’s first year, it was nabbed up by Annie Oakley of Texas, Mrs Pennie Mahon!! Tracy Custer took 2nd & 3rd and these ladies all went home with some cash in their pockets.
Also attracting a ton of attention were the incredibly awesome trophies for the top 3 in the AWI made by Apryl Lea or Pawsitive Vybe Metalworks and Pawsitive Vybe Michigan. Apryl raised the bar and just set a new standard for sheer coolness of disc dog awards. Another fellow disc dogger/ artist is Cassi Anderson. Cassi did ALL our logo work for the 2010 AWI, including the designs for the INNcolor award discs. Always dedicated heart and soul to Disc Dog, Mike Miller served as our international ambassador to Team China. Plans for 2011 are to bring over a Team from China. Xie Xie Ni Panyo MIKE! A HUGE HERO thanks to these tireless promoters.
Another perpetual award was unveiled this year; the Total Performer. Designed to recognize the team that has the most fun, and is TRULY in the sport for the love of the dogs. This year’s Total Performer award went to the very deserving Christopher Steele. While this ain’t his first rodeo, it was the first year for this award, and what a great recipient for the inaugural one!!
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who helped out. Our sponsors, Hero Disc USA and Total Performance Foods…..thank you SO much. Your generous support allowed the 2010 AWI Series to bring a fun place to compete with your dogs, to 11 locations worldwide. Please take a moment to thank these sponsors and support them whenever possible!!
The list of people who helped out is staggering, this truly was a community effort, and I need more time to work on the complete list, I don’t want to forget anyone. All the clubs who worked hard to put on AWI events, all the people behind the scenes….there is NO WAY this all would have happened without your help, I thank each and every one of you. More to come on that shortly.
Stay tuned for the 2011 schedule, and mark Saturday, October 15, 2011 on your calendars as the date for the 2011 Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championships!!
Thank you all. Written By Matt DiAno
Submitted by: Cassi Anderson