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Bexar Regional Agility Team Celebrates Their 25th Anniversary!

Bexar Regional Agility Team (BRAT) recently celebrated their 25th year in San Antonio, Texas.


By Tim Laubach

When we found out BRAT was in the 25th year of affiliation with USDAA, we knew we should make it a special occasion. In a planning session with Helen Rhodes, Rona Halbreich, Jaime Dale and Betty Bowens, we decided to do an all-out party and celebration. We expected to get about 100 exhibitors and designed a trial to accommodate that number. Little did we know we would get 40% more which led to some long hours, but the dedicated members and willing competitors made the weekend a fun experience.

We had event pins made using a logo designed by Diana Wilkins. The logo was used to create medals for the tournament winners, officials shirts and a cake which would feed 150 people. Event t-shirts were designed and ordered by Emily Forsyth and they were very cool.

Saturday was the day for the celebration and it was packed with runs and special events in the evening. The officials looked very good in the event shirts and several exhibitors inquired about how to get one. We had a free dinner for all the competitors, along with a DJ for down times. More about him in a moment! At one of the down times, exhibitors from our first trial were recognized. These included Kim Duff, Dave Hanson, Mary Jump, Elizabeth Blanchard and Dave Millmore.

Special crystal awards were presented to Kim Duff (first person in our area to compete in agility) and to USDAA president Ken Tatsch for bringing this sport to the United States. Ken also presented the club with a beautiful crystal award commemorating the event.

Dinner and drinks were followed by the Team/PVP Relay class, completing the team tournament. As the teams entered the ring, music chosen by the team was played by the DJ and it contributed greatly to the fun level. My favorites were the cool chics who flung their cigarettes to the ground right before they ran. Every team had some walk-up routine. It was great to watch and something I would do again. The DJ added so much to the fun and he even stayed an extra hour to accommodate the late running.

The evening culminated in awarding the tournament winners with their first thru third place medals on a podium. The podium was also a good place for everyone to get pictures with their dogs. The medals with the show logo were greatly appreciated and another thing I would do again.

The next day we ran the Strategic Pairs class which had to be moved to Sunday morning. It should be noted Ken was scheduled to judge this class, but he had to leave early Sunday morning. However, he did leave his briefing for the class on a napkin! (old inside joke). The course was actually the Strategic Pairs class from the Ventura Nationals. Some very good plans were attempted. The class results dictated how raffle tickets were allotted for some very nice wine baskets donated by Euro Dog Training (David Millmore) and K-9 Country Club (Catherine Laria).

I forgot about the cake on Saturday evening and five club members brought homemade cakes for Sunday morning. It didn't matter, every time I looked at the cake area on Sunday, it looked like a feeding frenzy and the cakes were well received. I think I had some of every cake. I had two corners of the club cake.

I want to thank the judges, Darlene Woz (yes, we let her do several Snooker classes), Patty Drom, an early exhibitor in agility and Dave Hanson, who I thought should be part of the trial given all he has done for the club. Chairperson Helen Rhodes and Secretary Rona Halbreich did their jobs grandly, given all the items happening at any time.

Thank you to all the exhibitors who made this such a special event.

Tim Laubach is a long-time USDAA judge and competitor. He is also the Chief Course Builder for the annual Cynosport event. 

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