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The Most Famous Agility Course on the Planet

A course analysis by Judge Anton Kudrin of a much discussed biathlon course from the 2015 IFCS World Agility Championships.

One of the judges at this year's Cynosport World Games is Anton Kudrin, from Russia. Anton was also one of the judges at the 2015 IFCS World Agility Championships. He designed one of the courses for Biathlon that had agility competitors from around the world talking about it for months after the event. In fact, the course is still mentioned from time to time in conversations.

The main topic of discussion about the course was a tough weave pole entrance with a strong off-course tunnel potential at the poles. (#6 - #9).

When Anton was designing this course, he planned it with the top Russian handlers in mind. Anton said, "I wanted to give them complicated courses, even for their level."

The main challenge he designed was the sequence from #5 through #9. (See-saw, tire, jump, weaves, jump.) Originally, Anton's challenge was what he calls a blind discrepancy since obstacle #7 was supposed to a wall jump. The dog would jump over the wall and sees the suitable off-course tunnel and a not-so-suitable but required weave entrance.

After much discussion, it was decided to exchange the wall jump for a single jump since not all teams at the event had ever encountered a wall jump, even at national competitions. Anton recalls, "Switching to a single jump made that sequence a little bit easier."

The biggest surprise to Anton on this course was the number of top handlers who successfully handled the tough sequence, only to lose focus or connection with their dog later on course. There were many handlers who mastered the weave pole entrance challenge, only to get an off-courses on jump #9, a refusal on the #10 A-frame or an off-course into the #3 tunnel.

If successful teams did make it past the tunnel/A-frame discrimination sequence, several teams then incurred a refusal at jump #13. Again, this was the biggest surprise for Anton to see while he was judging this course.

Obviously, this type of challenge was something entirely new for the majority of competitors, both competing at the event and following along at home. It created quite a stir in the agility community, but it also pushed us as competitors to further develop our handling skills and training independent obstacle performance in our dogs.

After the event, many of the Team Coaches from around the world took the time to thank Anton for providing such challenging courses and helping them find new ways to train and push themselves.

We look forward to some great challenges from Anton later this year at Cynosport. Well be reviewing some other courses with him in the next few weeks too.

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