Posted Date: May 7, 2012
Deborah Davidson Harpur chats with the WAC team member of the day!
Handler Name: Terry Smorch
Dog Name/Breed/Age: Presto, Border Collie, 6
Hometown: Lake Elmo, Minnesota
Occupation: Chemical engineer
Years competing in agility: 17
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?
Yes, it did, since the travel would be a lot easier to Texas compared to Europe. I've traveled to Europe with my dogs and it takes a few days to recover from the trip and adjust to the new time zone.
Have you ever tried out for the team in the past?
I tried out with my Border Collie, Remy, previously but didn't make the team.
Have you represented the USA at an event before?
Yes. I was on the AKC World Team in 2003 (France, Remy), 2010 (Germany, Presto), and 2011 (France, Presto), and the WAO team in 2011 (Great Britain, Presto).
Since you have represented the USA at an event overseas before, do you find yourself enjoying any type of "home court" advantage this year?
Yes. The easier travel and having more supporters cheering us on will give us an advantage.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the world team qualification process?
The biggest challenge was returning from the FCI event in France on Monday before the Cynosport Games then flying down to Louisville on Tuesday and adjusting to the time change.
How did your family and friends react to the news that you made the USA IFCS team?
They were excited, happy, and proud.
Will any of your family or friends be traveling to the event to cheer you on?
Some friends will be traveling to the event.
What is your goal at this year's event?
To do the best we can on the courses we run.
As the event comes closer and closer, are there additional stresses to your daily life because of your participation on the team?
There is pressure to prepare properly for the event; fortunately we've had a mild winter and [we could] train outdoors earlier than normal. We [did] fine-tuning during the month of April.
Have you done any specialized training to prepare for this event?
I've been setting up and running international style courses in preparation for the event. [I've also been] doing more gamble training.
What do you think will be the most difficult part of the event for you and your dog?
Probably the Gamblers class; we've focused on handling the technical international-style courses, which hasn't helped our gamble skills.
Photo courtesy of Eric Bobkowski
Terry Smorch photo courtesy of Karen Moureaux at dogsportphotos.com
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.