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Talking with... Rosanne DeMascio

The next in a series of interviews with USDAA IFCS World Agility Championship team members. By Brenna Fender

The 2010 World Agility Championships are fast approaching. USDAA will send a terrific team to Clevedon, North Sommerset in the United Kingdom for the event that runs from May 14-16 at the Hand Equestrian Centre. Team members include Angie Benacquisto with Duncan and Dylan, Daneen Fox and Masher, Janelle Julyan and Eve, Rhonda Koeske and Tack, Elise Lynch and Ting, Kate Moureaux and Driven, Stephanie Spyr and Rage, Rosanne DeMascio and Drifter, Dudley Fontaine and Maverick, Ann Zarr and Skylar, Suzanne Wesley and Sonic, and coach Stacy Peardot-Goudy. To celebrate our team, we'll be doing periodic interviews with team members.

Rosanne lives in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, where she works in Quality Assurance at a FedEx Ground Terminal. Agility is her only competitive dog sport, although she occasionally trains in herding. Her other hobbies include reading, going to movies, and sometimes playing video games.

Brenna Fender (BF): How did your family and friends react to you making the IFCS team?

Rosanne DeMascio (RD): They were very excited, although many were sad they weren't able to attend.

BF: Will a friend or family member travel with you to the event?

RD: Only my boyfriend DJ is able to travel with me. My mother is unfortunately unable to come, because my father has been sick and in and out of the hospital this last year.

BF: How tough did you find the qualification process to become a team member? 

RD: The qualification process was somewhat difficult, however, competing at completely different events from one another, on different courses, in different size classes made it hard to get a feel for how I was doing compared to everyone else. I felt that I had done alright, and ended up fourth before Nationals, so I knew I had to work hard in Scottsdale in order to make the team. This made the Cynosport Games a very exciting event for me, and Drifter and I did well and I pulled up into a tie with the second and third place dogs, but because the events I had attended over the year were larger events than the other two dogs, I won the tie and got the second spot on the team. The crazy thing is, if I had been .03 seconds slower in Grand Prix Finals, I would not have made the team!

BF: What is your goal for this year's event? 

RD: I would like to handle the courses well, come home with a medal or few, and maybe hear our anthem playing!

BF: How would you describe your emotions as the event draws closer?

RD: I am very excited! I'm really not an emotional person and I don't really get very nervous overall, but I am looking forward to the adrenaline rush of competing in the World Championships, and hopefully doing well!

BF: What is your greatest concern about the trip to the UK for the event? 

RD: It is very difficult, complicated, and expensive to fly a dog into the UK. I am hoping everything goes smoothly through customs.

BF: What do you think will be the most difficult part of the competition itself? 

RD: The team competition seems toughest to me, as the pressure is really on, and different groups of dogs will run team each day depending on their strengths.

BF: What do you expect to be fairly easy or smooth?

RD: I think we have a great group of people and I expect that we'll all gel together quite well, so walking courses and handling discussion should be a smooth process.

BF: Do you have any other comments? 

RD: The process of booking travel for a dog into the UK is very difficult, but regardless, I am still happy that it's in England because it's one of the places I most wanted to visit anyway. This will be my first time in Europe!

Brenna Fender is the editor for the USDAA's subscriber services portion of the website.  She is also a freelance writer, wife, and parent of two dogs and two children.  Please contact Brenna at with comments, questions, or submissions.

Photo courtesy of Donald L. Cook II.


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