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Spring Festival of Dog Agility? Finds Beautiful Conditions in Myrtle Beach

The 2004 Spring Festival of Dog Agility? found pristine conditions at Coastal Federal Stadium in Myrtle Beach.

Competitors from Colorado to New England and Michigan to Florida converged on a new region for this year's Spring Festival of Dog Agility? -- South Carolina, at Coastal Federal Stadium in Myrtle Beach. The conditions ponied up the best imaginable, as the minor league stadium outfield offered a plush carpet of green turf, while the weather offered clear blue skies and near-perfect spring weather.

The event began on Friday with all four of the Dog Agility Masters? team classes - standard, jumping, gamblers and snooker. With two rings in operation, a ring rotation as seen previously only at the Grand Prix World Championship event enabled competitors to work smoothly through the four classes during the day, followed by a final class of the day - the Dog Agility Steeplechase? qualifying round, with 28 competitors qualifying for the national championships to be held in November in Scottsdale, Arizona. The day sparked a lot of excitement with the following teams taking the lead in Team competition, while they awaited Sunday's final round - the Three-Dog Team Relay - to determine the final standings.

Saturday presented the usual mix of titling rounds, along with an exciting final money round of the Dog Agility Steeplechase? class.

Dog Agility Steeplechase? Winners

12" - Janet Perry with Gracie Allen (All American)
16" - Abbie Tamber with Micro (Jack Russell Terrier)*
22" - Stacy Peardot-Goudy with Secret (Border Collie)*
26" - Kathleen Wells with Houston (Border Collie)*

*Denotes 2004 Team USA member heading to Spain next month.

Sunday kicked off with additional titling rounds, the Grand Prix of Dog Agility? qualifier and climaxed with the Dog Agility Masters? Three-Dog Relay finale'.

Grand Prix Winners

12" - Janet Perry and Gracie Allen (AA)
16" - Abbie Tamber and Micro (JRT)
22" - Melinda McKean & Lucy (BC)
26" - Alexandra Roukas & Wish (BC)

Alexandra Roukas turned in the most impressive rounds of the day, finishing in first and second place in the 26" class with her two dogs Wish and Catcher, with scores of 30.38 and 30.45 seconds, respectively.

In Team competition, the top three teams held on to their leads from Friday to head the pack of 16 teams that earned qualifying scores for the championships later this year.

Team Winners

1 - Kathleen Wells & Dory, Donna Rohaus & Katie, and Jeanette Hutchison & Zig Zag (All Border Collie Team)

2 - Stacy Peardot-Goudy & Able (BC), David Thompson & Ollie (BC), and Kathleen Desvigne & Player (Golden Retriever)

3 - Kim Duff & Abby (BC), Kathleen Wells & Houston (BC), and Jeremy Gerhard & Spyder (Australian Shepherd)

Where will next year's Spring Festival be? It remains to be seen whether the City of Myrtle Beach will find that the event was a benefit to their list of tourist attractions. At the same time, some competitors from the midwestern US who missed out on the event for the first time in eight years have indicated they are interested in bringing the event back to their part of the country.


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