Posted Date: April 12, 2012
Deborah Davidson Harpur discusses the WAC with team member Jeannette Hutchison.
Handler Name: Jeannette Hutchison
Dog Name/Breed/Age: Rumble, Border Collie, 7 in July
Hometown: Cordova, Maryland
Occupation: Own and operate cdogrunagility.com, a training and boarding kennel.
Years competing in agility: 20 years
Photo courtesy of Mike Lifer.
This year the IFCS World Agility Championships are being held in the U.S.A. did knowing this affect your decision to try out for the team?
When I learned the IFCS Championships would be in the states I decided to give it my best. Competing in the US would be much easier and less expensive.
Have you ever tried out for the team in the past?
I was on the first IFCS team in 2002 with my Jack Russell, Reno.
Tell me about your experiences representing the US in the past.
In 2002, Reno and I traveled to Russia representing the the USA at the first IFCS World games. Team USA won the gold, and I won an individual bronze metal. In 2011, my Border Collie Rumble and I were on the USA team for the World Agility Open Championships and traveled to England. The team won silver and Rumble and I won both the snooker and gambler classes, winning the gold World Agility Open Games Championship title. I have had wonderful experiences meeting agility competitors from around the world. They have always been supportive and kind. There are no words to describe the feeling of being on the podium and hearing your national anthem being played. I look forward to the IFCS Championships!
Do you find yourself enjoying any type of "home court" advantage since the event is in the US this time?
Yes, flying to Texas is much easier then traveling abroad and much less expensive. There is less stress on the dog because the flight is shorter and there is only an hour time difference. I am excited to be competing in the states and look forward to representing the USA!
What were some of the challenges you faced during the world team qualification process?
We began competing in January and ended October. I really had to work on the mental game to be the best we could be for an extended period of time. Keeping yourself and the dog in peak condition for that length of time required dedication, determination, and sacrifice . I tried to stay as close to home as possible. We ended up competing at the biggest events and Rumble gave me everything I asked her for. I am blessed to have such a wonderful dog.
How did your family and friends react to the news that you made the USA IFCS team?
My family and friends were so supportive and happy for Rumble and I. They encouraged us to do our best.
Will any of your family or friends be traveling to the event to cheer you on?
I have a friend, Nancy, who will be traveling with me and many friends will be attending the IFCS Championships. My family will be home running the businesses and keeping a watch on the live feed. I will miss them in body but know there are there in spirit!
What is your goal at this year's event?
My goal is to proudly represent my country and be a great addition to the team. I want to do my best and pray for guidance.
As the event comes closer and closer are there additional stresses to your daily life because of your participation on the team?
Yes, I will be leaving my business for two weeks at a very busy time of the year.
Have you done any specialized training to prepare for this event?
Rumble and I have been reviewing many foundation exercises and working on conditioning, the mental game, and maintaining criteria. We have been working very hard and I think about ,"FORD," fix or repair daily, so we can be first on race day!
What do you think will be the most difficult part of the event for you and your dog?
I don't foresee any difficulties. I have done my homework and pray for safety and happiness, and I know God is my copilot!
Do you want to give any "shout outs" or share any other comments?
Don't be afraid to dream! You can do anything if you have a plan and work hard! I want to thank everyone for all their love and support. My family, and friends, and the agility competitors have made this journey a wonderful experience. I could not have done this without you. A special THANK YOU goes to Ivette White for traveling with me and being there through thick and thin! Congratulations to all on the team and the coach! May we all have a wonderful experience!
Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1998. She currently handles 16 dogs of various breeds including Rat Terriers, All Americans, French Bull Dogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, a Border Collie and more. She enjoys competing in USDAA agility and is the proud mom of USDAA roving reporter Rickie Roo. Her dogs are all proud canine ambassadors for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and for ilovedogs.com, tj.la, and ilovedogsdiamonds.com. You can learn more about Deborah and her dogs at pm2dogagility.com.