Posted Date: September 5, 2014
US competitors and judges traveled to Mexico to compete in the 2014 Mexico Regional Championships. By Andy Hartman
Photo by Shawn Cossart
The USDAA Mexico Regional Championships were held on August 23-24 near the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico. This year's event saw two competitors from the US, Shawn Cossart with her dog Dare and Catherine Laria with Paint, in attendance. Judges Tim Laubach, Frank Holik and Emily Klarman traveled from the US as well, flying in with me on Thursday afternoon. That evening, our gracious hosts took us all out to dinner to get tacos. The food was outstanding and a good time was had by all.
Left to right: Shawn Cossart, Ana's aunt, Ana Bertha García Espinosa, Frank Holik, Emily Klarman, Rene Esquivel, Tim Laubach, Andy Hartman, and Catherine Laria.
Friday, we packed up and headed to the trial site near Teotihuacán.
Upon arriving at Caserio del Bosque (a small ranch), we were delighted to see beautiful, grass agility fields and cabins for lodging. This was to be our "home" for the next couple of days.
When Shawn Cossart first saw the event site, she was impressed. "The lush greenery surrounding the perfectly manicured grass was truly unbelievable. Off to the right of the agility rings were several brightly colored bungalows and what? One of those was ours? Wait! I can roll out of bed and take five steps to an indoor pool or 10 steps to the agility rings? Okay, I may be exaggerating, but not by much! This truly was agility heaven," she says.
After unpacking, we got back into the vans and our hosts treated us to lunch in a cavernous restaurant.
After lunch we went through the museum at Teotihuacán.
From there we walked to and climbed the Pyramid of the Sun.
The city and Pyramids are thought to have been established around 100 BC.
This is truly a very special place.
Saturday, the Regional got started with three rings of agility.
On Saturday night we gathered in the main dining room to share dinner together. There were many tributes to our hosts and the event and laughter filled the air.
Sunday saw the final rounds of competition and then the awards were handed out.
Catherine Laria attended the event with the goal of earning byes in both Steeplechase and Grand Prix with Paint. She says, "I'm so happy to say that he ran clean in both and won both classes 'con bye' (as they kept telling me at the awards ceremony!) We also won the Biathlon and our team won gold as well. So I'd have to say it was the most successful Regionals we have ever been to!" Laria praised her experience at the event: "What an experience. The trial field and facility this year was unbelievably beautiful.... I felt like I was on a tropical island. The host club, the competitors, the judges, everything was top notch!"
Cossart agrees with Laria's praises. She adds, "And what made this experience even more heavenly was the people! Every single person we came in contact with treated you as if they were your best friend and your friendship went back for decades. Club members, non-club members, it didn't matter, each person was so generous, helpful and not one person laughed at my horrendous Spanish I tried so hard to speak. I went into that trial knowing maybe three competitors; I came out of that trial having many, many lifelong friends. Thank you to the club, the fantastic judges and to USDAA for a tremendous experience."
We want to thank Club Agility Chiluca for hosting this year's Regional!
Photos by Andy Hartman unless otherwise noted.