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Event Report: Carolina Piedmont Agility

Greg Fontaine shares the details of this fun and exciting trial!


Carolina Piedmont Agility (CPA) held a USDAA trial July 6-8 at NetSports in Morrisville, North Carolina. This was the first event CPA has hosted at NetSports, an indoor soccer facility. CPA members coordinated a live stream of the event, which was offered free-of-charge on Cynosport.tv.

The event offered 1,872 runs over three days with 222 dog and handler teams in attendance. Dogs and handlers came from nine different states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and New York. Handlers of young dogs seemed to like the idea of fully enclosed, indoor soccer rings because CPA had a very strong Starters/Performance 1 entry with 53 Starter/P1 dog and handler teams. Entrants definitely liked being inside an air-conditioned building in the 70s rather than outside in the record 104 degree heat!

An event like this doesn't happen without so much help from so many people! First we are very thankful to everyone for pitching in to make a great first impression with the NetSports facility. Competitors made a special effort to help pick up poop, to use the side and rear doors, and to keep the front of the building free of poop or urine. Since this is a facility primarily for youth sports with parents bringing their kids into the building, this was particularly important to the management. So, competitors, thank you!

The staff at NetSports was a pleasure to work with. The General Manager Chris McClellan deserves a tremendous amount of appreciation for taking a chance on entrusting his facility to our group of canine enthusiasts. It's also clear that his staff's attentiveness and care are a direct reflection of his work ethic.

Terry Herman and Idgie won the Steeplechase Finals. Photo by Chuck Liddy, reposted with permission.

We had a tremendous amount of help with setup and the Intro/Match on Thursday night. Special thanks to Meagan Skelton, Stuart and Pati Mah, John Reid, Becka Thrift, Richard Wallace, Amy Reynolds, Samantha Seal, Lisa Brockmeier, Kobi Berger, Shelah Bloom, Cindy Hartman, Karen Owens, Deb Zahler, Susan Mann, Terry Herman, and Melanie Miller.

Our ring captains did a great job throughout the weekend, leading the way to make sure the rings were staffed and everyone knew how they could help. Thanks Ryan Arnold, Richard Wallace, Shelah Bloom, Mary Kearns, Susan Mann, Meagan Skelton, Cindy Hartman, Suzan Roberts, Nadeen Sakowski, Nancy Bell, and Cindy Hensley.

Our coursebuilding chiefs managed 36 course changes this weekend! Thanks to Sallie Redding, Stuart Mah, John Reid, Fred Parker, Mo Britva, and Mike Tickle for leading the effort.

Our judges, Tim Verrelli and Lianne Martin did their typical outstanding jobs! Thanks to them for fun, challenging courses, tireless work judging, and a wonderfully pleasant and friendly demeanor with our entrants and volunteers. A special thanks to Tim for a fun Grand Prix course Sunday afternoon and also for extra help and tips with the scorekeeping software. And a very special thanks to Lianne for being so welcoming and patient with all our Starters entrants, many of whom were showing USDAA for the very first time this weekend. Also, thanks to our additional USDAA judges in attendance: Richard Wallace for organizing check-in Friday and Saturday and Stuart Mah for being available to measure throughout the weekend.

Thanks to our secretary and chief scorekeeper Karen Wlodarski. It's an amazingly difficult and time consuming job, made even more challenging by the demanding nature of a particular event chair (that would be me!). Also thanks to all the scoretable help from volunteers like Deb Zahler, Val Rutledge, Stacey Clear, Shannon Jones, Sheila McHugh, Debbie Mitchell, Robin Early, Courtney Holscher, and countless others!

Amy Reynolds did a fantastic job managing ribbons and awards. I have a special personal thanks to offer for Amy's work at the end of the show taking inventory and re-organizing our ribbons. It was nice taking home so few boxes!

Thanks to all of our vendors, to Sheila Wideman and Gaile Daley for taking care of our dogs, and to Dan Emmy and Toby Mazrolle for bringing their agility equipment offerings. There was lots of cool stuff from Canis Callidus, Critter Craft, Anderson's Pet Supplies, Raynor's Port, Barks4Bones Bakery, Bendy Kitty, Dixie Pet Products, and Phyllis Ensley Photography. A particularly special thanks to Robin Belyea and her Waste Naught services for bringing poop clean up supplies and managing the buckets!

It was again a pleasure to work with Carolina Border Collie Rescue. Becky Spring, Tim Spring, Ann Miller, and several new members worked tirelessly throughout the weekend, staying through the last classes of the weekend and the very end of tear down to help us get the rings cleared and the equipment broken down and organized for our trailer loading crew. Thanks to all of our entrants for supporting their fundraising raffle. Together we raised $1000 to go toward their efforts to rescue, foster, and rehome Border Collies in need! Also, thanks to Tracy Hirsch, Mo Britva, Sallie Redding, Cindy Hensley, Ryan Arnold, John Reid, Becka Thrift, Dan Emmy, Dick and Susan Cicone, Amy Reynolds, Samantha Seal, Lisa Brockmeier, and Kobi Berger for their help tearing down, clearing out the rings, breaking down equipment, and prepping for the trailer loading crew.

Just when we thought our volunteer worker food and drink hospitality couldn't get much better, Samantha Seal, Lisa Brockmeier, and Kobi Berger coordinated an amazingly tasty and healthy assortment of deliciousness! Thanks to Scott Kemerer for coming all the way from Ohio, cooking his signature potatoes, and manning hospitality throughout the weekend. I loved the shrimp and gazpacho soup Sunday! Special thanks to Elizabeth Woodhouse and Shane Ingram for inviting us into their kitchen at Four Square Restaurant, the best restaurant in Durham (foursquarerestaurant.com), and helping with preparations.

The unfortunate thing in making any list like this is that I will inevitably fail to acknowledge so many contributions to our show. If you count spaces on the volunteer sheets for the weekend, there must have been a thousand jobs to be done. Please know that we remain in awe of the helpful, cooperative, joyful spirit that competitors bring to our shows. Together, we are all Carolina Piedmont Agility. We cannot thank you enough!

Shane Ingram (chef/owner of Four Square Restaurant) and Samantha Seal Cauthorn peeling and dicing fresh tomatoes and vegetables from the farmers market for one of Sundays volunteer hospitality offerings, gazpacho soup with shrimp! Photo courtesy of Samantha Seal Cauthorn.

Corie, a nine year old poodle owned by Nancy Ulerich, of Orlando Florida, takes the tire. Photo by Chuck Liddy, reposted with permission.

Pictures (and a great article quoting USDAA competitors and judges) are available through Raleigh News and Observer coverage. Click the "gallery" at this link: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/07/07/2183890/at-dog-agility-competition-the.html#storylink=misearch

A video of Terry Herman and Idgie winning the Steeplechase Finals can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofcaTD2U4ew

A video of Greg Fontaine and Spice winning the Grand Prix can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fii1YDX86PA

A video comparison side-by-side in slow motion of Spice and her cousin Tonic handled by Jenn Denereaz running in Grand Prix neck and neck until Tonic goes off course at the second to last obstacle can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnjIfEK_woE

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