2010 Cynosport World Games: Performance Grand Prix Championship Finals
By Brenna Fender
Performance Grand Prix competitors were the first to complete their Finals round at the 2010 Cynosport World Games, the annual agility championships hosted by the United States Agility Association. There was certainly a buzz of excitement in the air as the evening event began on Friday, October 15. Excited spectators watched the main ring from the stands in Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and agility fans all over the world streamed the event live on their computers.
The 8″ dogs were up first on this flowing course judged by Carol Voelker. The five-dog, all Pembroke Welsh Corgi class ran entirely clean, earning no faults on the course! The handlers did many front crosses to direct their dogs smoothly and tighten up turns. It all came down to time, and the winners, Janelle Julyan and Eve, were the fastest, finishing in 39.08 seconds. Eve and Julyan had a very successful weekend, winning the Performance Speed Jumping Finals on Saturday night as well.
The rest of the classes had the usual assortment of errors, including missed A-frame and dogwalk contacts, seesaw flyoffs, and knocked bars. But many dogs ran clean, handling the tricky areas of the course with success.
In the 12″ class, consistently tight turns may have given Barbara Davis and her Shetland Sheepdog Rock-It the win over strong contenders Joan Meyer and her Shetland Sheepdog, Neil. The 16″ class handlers, like those in the lower jump heights, also negotiated the course using mostly front crosses. But Marcus Topps and his crowd-pleasing Border Collie, Juice, tackled the course using all rear crosses. Juice took the lead but wound up second to Jerry Simon and the speedy Tango, a Border Collie half Juice’s age (Juice went on to win the Performance Speed Jumping Championship on Saturday). The 22″class had the most contact problems but turned in exciting and fun-to-watch runs. The winner, Ann Koening and Border Collie Josh, finished less than .4 seconds ahead of second place finisher Carrie Jones and Jive, also a Border Collie.
The first tricky portion of the course was the #9 jump to the #10 tunnel. Handlers worked hard to tighten turn that turn. Many dogs went wide anyway, but they didn’t incur faults in the process.
The biggest challenge on the course was the #11-#13 segment. A couple of dogs shot out of the tunnel, took the tire, and were over the off-course #14 jump before their handlers could react. Those that stayed on course then had to navigate the #12-#13 180 degree turn. While 180s are found on many courses, this one seemed to be more challenging. Many dogs took wide turns here, and others came in to their handlers between the two jumps, missing #13. This area was responsible for some of the course’s knocked bars as well.
The Performance Grand Prix was the most diverse Finals event of the 2010 Cynosport World Games, with many different breeds represented. In addition to the familiar Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Corgis, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retrievers, English Shepherds, Miniature Schnauzers, and other breeds were represented. This diversity made the Performance Grand Prix even more fun to watch. This fast and furious event was a terrific start to the three days of Finals that close the Cynosport World Games.
8″ Class Results
1st Janelle Julyan & Eve faults/39.08 seconds
2nd Donna Brown &Â Morgan faults/41.07 seconds
3rd Darlene PaulÂ & Tobi faults/42.76 seconds
12″ Class Results
1st Barbara Davis & Rock-It faults/35.94 seconds
2nd Joan Meyer & Neil faults/36.33 seconds
3rd Laura Fearn & Sierra faults/36.72 seconds
16″ Class Results
1st Jerry Simon & Tango faults/32.91 seconds
2nd Marcus Topps & Juice faults/33.15 seconds
3rd Roseanne DeMascio & Kiba faults/33.31 seconds
22″ Class Results
1st Ann Koening & Josh faults/34.90 seconds
2nd Carrie Jones & Jive faults/35.29 seconds
3rd Anne Andrle & Ski faults/36.85 seconds
2010 Cynosport World Games: $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase ® Championships and Performance Speed Jumping Championships
By Brenna Fender
The evening of Saturday, October 16, was the 2010 Cynosport World Games a most festive night. The action started with several presentations, including a moving moment when owners of dogs lost to cancer pasted their names on a memory wall.
Then the Games got underway. Both the Performance Speed Jumping Championships, judged by David Bozak, and the $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase® Championships, judged by Wim Bekendam, took place on the same course. Many spectators gathered to watch and were not disappointed by the caliber of the competition in this time-plus-faults event. Performance Speed Jumping went first, followed by Steeplechase.
The course was a great mix of technical areas and flowing segments, so dogs had the opportunity to really open up and run fast while facing tricky angles and off-course options. Some handlers tackled the opening by front crossing before the weaves. They probably hoped to tighten their dogs turn into the weaves with this move (some of them were successful). Having the dog on the right through the weave poles allowed the handlers to partially block the wrong entrance to the #6 tunnel, although even the dogs handled off the left didn’t have a big problem in this area.
After completing the #6 tunnel, dogs faced a more difficult sequence. Some dogs exited the tunnel and took jump #9. Others ran by #7 or #8, and some simply had trouble properly executing the long jump.
Although some dogs were beckoned by the off-course #6/#17 tunnel while approaching the A-frame in the next part of the course, most stayed on track and faced a the next significant challenge: #11-#13. Many dogs took #11 straight on, which carried them out wide and set them up to take #12 at an angle, which then required another change of direction to get over #13. As a result, many dogs ran by either #12 or #13. Some handlers front crossed between #11 and #12 to try to tighten that turn, but that wasn’t particularly successful. Other handlers tried to manage their dogs approach to #11, taking it at an angle and setting a line for easier completion of #12 and #13. While this may have helped, it was still a very tough sequence. In the 26″ Steeplechase class, a few of the handlers turned their dogs to the right after #11, pulling them through to set a smooth line through the rest of the sequence. This worked very well, but of course added yardage.
The rest of the course included a mixed bag of errors, including a few dropped bars and weave pole problems. There were many amazing weave pole entrance performances at #18. The dogs came flying out of the tunnel and had to really tuck in and weave; it was beautiful to watch!
While most of the runs were exciting, the race for first place in the 16″Steeplechase class had spectators sitting on the edge of their seats. John Nys and his Shetland Sheepdog, Rush, ran very aggressively. Rush turned tightly and hit his #18 weave pole entry with breathtaking speed. With an impressive time 32.69 Nys and Rush took the lead.
But after Rush, last year’s Steeplechase Champion Ashley Deacon and Pyrenean Shepherd Luka stepped up to the line. Deacon encouraged Luka to really hurry through the course, and the pair looked like they were going for broke. The pushing paid off and the duo took the lead with a time of 31.62.
Only Canadian mixed breed Funkee Monkee and handler Kayl McCann remained, and those two gave Nys and Deacon a run for their money. With another amazing weave pole entry and more tight turns, McCann and Funkee Monkee sailed into second place with a time of 32.28. What an exciting finish to the 16″ class!
Throughout the evening, the crowd encouraged the competitors with cheers for amazing displays of speed and agility, but also when things went wrong. An off-course was met with rhythmic clapping and shouts of support. Many eliminated handlers finished their runs in style and with a smile thanks to the spectators in the stands.
Those spectators, largely USDAA competitors, kept an upbeat attitude all evening. When there was a break in the action to repair the timer displays, everyone joined in on a rousing rendition of the wave. A group of competitors ran cheering through the stands, making everyone laugh. It was a night of camaraderie as well as excellent agility.
Performance Speed Jumping Championships
1st Janelle Julyan & Eve 37.86 seconds
2nd Kathy Wilson & Furby 41.17 seconds
3rd Virginia Besthoff & Ruby 41.54 seconds
1st Joan Meyer & Neil 34.21 seconds
2nd Lori Michaels & Skye 35.84 seconds
3rd Patti Gagnon & Sparkle 36.07 seconds
1st Marcus Topps & Juice 32.63 seconds
2nd Kate Moureaux & Driven 33.99 seconds
3rd Loretta Vojetch & Kit Kat 34.28 seconds
22″ Class Results
1st Claudia Bates & Kestrel 34.71 seconds
2nd Heather Kaluza & Derby 35.38 seconds
3rd Carrie Jones & Jive 35.63 seconds
$10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase ® Championships
1st Daneen Fox & Masher 33.69 seconds
2nd Megan Foster & Tommy 34.68 seconds
3rd Mike Padgett & Kona 35.88 seconds
1st Ashley Deacon & Luka 31.62 seconds
2nd Kayl McCann & Funkee Monkee 32.28 seconds
3rd John Nys & Rush 32.69 seconds
1st Lauren Mitchell & Zack 32.32 seconds
2nd Kim Terrill & Steeple 32.54 seconds
3rd Mary Ellen Barry & Maizy 32.71 seconds
1st Susan Garrett & Feature 32.76 seconds
2nd Ann Braue & Scream 33.38 seconds
3rd Channan Fosty & IconÂ 33.62 seconds
2010 Cynosport World Games: Grand Prix of Dog Agility ® World Championships Finals
By Brenna Fender
The last Finals event at the 2010 Cynosport World Games was a fantastic way to finish off five days of competitive agility at its best. Before the last Championships got underway, spectators were treated to Performance Versatility Pairs, the Dog Agility Masters Team Relay, the Junior Handler Spotlight, and the Veteran’s Showcase. The latter two events emphasized the skills of the youngest handlers and celebrated the careers of the oldest dogs, respectively.
Then the 12″ Grand Prix class began, judged by Dave Grubel, and the first two dogs were eliminated, starting off the event by illuminating the three most challenging areas of the course. Only the top three placers went clean, and the class was topped by Daneen Fox and Papillon Masher, who also won the 12″ class in the $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase ® Championships the night before.
The opening went smoothly for most dogs, but some went off course at #3, taking the A-frame instead of the tunnel. Others took the #14 chute, not realizing that the course took a right turn.
The biggest challenge for most handlers turned out to be the #7/#12 tunnel. Many dogs took the #6 jump at an angle that pointed them at the #12 tunnel opening. Some of these fast moving dogs were off course before their handlers could react. Other dogs took the #1 jump rather than taking the tunnel at all. To avoid earning faults in this area, many handlers did a front cross between #6 and #7, and this worked fairly successfully. Certainly some handlers made a last minute decision to front cross as a reaction to seeing so many faults in this spot early in the event.
Later, dogs approached the same tunnel, this time aiming for the other opening, which was #12. Unfortunately, several dogs took the #7 entrance instead. That tricky tunnel was the death of many a competitor!
In the final portion of the course, several dogs dropped bars and at least one dog missed the #19 jump entirely. This demanding section was handled a variety of ways, and no one way seemed to be the best for all dogs. Some handlers front crossed, either between #14 and #15 or, if they could really get ahead of their dogs, between #15 and #16. Other handlers rear crossed between #16 and #17. In the 22″ class, winners Susan Garrett and her Border Collie, Encore attacked the closing differently, rear crossing #17 and #19. These moves, in addition to an impressive rear cross at the weaves, helped this pair finish almost 1.5 seconds faster than the second place team, Roseanne DeMascio and her Border Collie, Drifter.
In addition to the off-courses caused by the tunnel of doom, many dogs faulted on this course because of basic errors like missed contacts. The dogwalk and A-frame were taken at blazing speed, sometimes with unfortunate faults. Some dogs exited the seesaw early, earning flyoff faults as well.
All of the classes had many notable runs, but the 16″ second placing team, Angie Benacquisto and Rat Terrier Dylan, were particularly impressive. Dylan is inspiring both on and off course as she is currently battling Lymphoma and went back home to cancer treatments shortly after the event.
On a happier note, in the 26″ class, where the competition was also amazing, the top two placing dogs, Daisy Peel’s Solar and Linda Mecklenburg’s Wonder, are littermates. Other littermates ran in the 22″ class, showing that great agility apples don’t fall far from the tree (Daddy is Mecklenburg’s Stellar, a multi-titled agility champion in his own right).
This course was fun to watch and led to some breathtaking runs by the very talented winners. The crowd seemed to really love watching it!
Grand Prix of Dog Agility ® World Championships results:
1st Daneen Fox & Masher 0 faults/33.27 seconds
2nd Janet Dunn & Tantrum 0 faults/34.89 seconds
3rd Ivette White & Zip 0 faults/37.96 seconds
1st John Nys & Rush 0 faults/32.43 seconds
2nd Angie Benacquisto & Dylan 0 faults/32.61 seconds
3rd Jen Pinder & Taser 0 faults/33.02 seconds
1st Susan Garrett & Encore 0 faults/30.72 seconds
2nd Roseanne DeMascio & DrifterÂ 0 faults/32.13 seconds
3rd Mary Ellen Barry & Maizy 0 faults/32.32 seconds
1st Daisy Peel & Solar 0 faults/31.42 seconds
2nd Linda Mecklenburg & Wonder 0 faults/32.05 seconds
3rd Terry Smorch & Presto 0 faults/32.19 seconds
Photo Credit: Karen Moureaux