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The First USDAA 4-Star Event

This exciting trial was held by DART on April 18 & 19. By Marla Friedler-Cooper.

The very first USDAA 4-Star Event was held last weekend at Chaffey College in Southern California.  It was fabulously run by DART (Dog Agility Racing Team).

This event was special because it was one of the places where someone wanting to earn a spot on USDAA's World Team could accumulate points toward that goal.  This year, points for World Team could come from the first four regional or 4-Star events in which a candidate competes.  They may attend more, of course, but only the points earned in the first four will be counted for eligibility.  This system helps people get the chance to earn points closer to their homes.

Saturday was a lovely day with some challenging yet fun courses designed and judged by Scott Chamberlain.  The day started with a nice team gamblers course. We also had lovely Grand Prix, steeplechase, and team jumpers courses. 

Sunday, not only were we greeted with a very, very challenging standard course, we were also overcome with strong winds and record heat.  After standard, there was team snooker and relay. It was an exhausting day, to say the least.  Everyone remained in good spirits despite the record temperatures and unkind winds.  As Scott Lovelis (President of DART) said, "It just wouldn't be a DART trial without a weather anomaly." 

This was a two-ring, one-judge trial, meaning that although there was only one judge there was no down time for walk throughs because the next course was always ready to walk while a course was being run. 

It was really just like a local tournament event as far as size (although that probably has a lot to do with the current economy), except that if you knew who was trying to earn a spot on the World Team it was interesting to follow their results and cheer them on.  Although it wasn't a huge trial, it did seem like a mini-Regional because of the pursuit of World Team points.

There was tough weather and tough courses but everyone seemed to have a very good time and, after all, that's why we all started doing agility in the first place!

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Marla Friedler-Cooper is the owner of Dog Sports Video, an agility trainer and competitor, a film/tv producer, and a college professor of film and strategic communications. She can be reached at or through her websites:,, and


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