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IFCS World Agility Championship - Day One Underway

Day-to-Day Event coverage of the 2006 IFCS World Agility Championships

Day One Report

Thursday concluded with the competitors dinner, enjoying an extensive menu as well as relaxing conversation.  The running order was established at the end of the evening through a lottery and concluded by 10:30pm, noting some teams, including Team USA cutting out early to assure ample rest for the start of competition.

The opening ceremony began this morning at 9:30am, with a clear to partly cloudy skies, warm sun, and air temperature hovering in the low seventies. Beginning with the traditional parade of teams for the ten countries in attendance.  Following the national anthem, welcoming remarks were made by secretary of FHN Ton Meijer and IFCS president Yuri Ostashenko, both wishing much success in spirit and competition.  The ring was cleared and courses set for the first class.  The competition got underway at 10:40am (GMT+1), or 4:40am Eastern Time. 

Course plans for the day's three courses were distributed to teams at 9:00am, providing ample opportunity to review and strategize before the morning's walk-throughs began at 10:20am.  Courses for the day are Power & Speed, a non-championship class, and then Individual Standard Agility and Biathlon Jumping.  Courses follow below.

Power & Speed

Through three height divisions, the US Team leads the medal count, with one gold and two silver medals, with a bronze proving to be 1/2 second out of reach.  The Netherlands have a gold and silver, Russia two bronze, Canada one gold, and the UK one bronze. The "maxi" division is soon to finish. 

Individual Agility

Biathlon Jumping

Day Zero Report

Team USA began arriving in the Netherlands on Sunday, with team members venturing out to relax after the long flights overseas.  Taking in the tulip farms, canals, and other notable Amsterdam sites, some members (and of course their dogs) found it easy to adapt to their new surroundings. 

Above photos courtesy of Mike Murphy.  Rene King's Hamlet & Mike Murphy's Bailey on tour.

Teams began reporting at the field in Oosterhout at 10:00am, with measurements and administrative matters being addressed for the event.  After settling in, team worked their rotation between two rings in warm-ups sessions in preparation for the start of the event on Friday. 

The competitor kenneling area, where competitors from five continents are housed.  New teams in this year's event include Great Britain and South Africa.

The field at Oosterhout has reasonably good sod, and the event's host FHN spent the day yesterday filling any low spots with sandy loam to assure a level field.  This is a marked improvement over the last IFCS championship due to the preferred surface, and weather is expected to remain in the 65 to 75 degree range for the event.  Despite a warm sun, the cool air provides a good feel to the weather.

Team USA beginning their warm-up in ring 1.

In a discussion with some team members following the warm-ups, they were impressed with the site, indicating turf and equipment were good, and while excited upon arrival here in the Netherlands, team members stated that "driving in and seeing that row of national flags flying overhead ringside really got us psyched."  They seemed highly focused and were anxious for the next day to begin.

At the warm-ups, the teams were presented briefings for the courses to be run for the weekend and will gather for a competitor dinner this evening where briefings and competitor running orders will be drawn.   

Watch this page for updates to the event throughout the weekend.


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