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USDAA Championships Getting Under Way with Grand Prix Classic

Course analysis and observations of the upcoming Grand Prix Classic.

2007 marks the 20th running of the Grand Prix of Dog Agility. In recognition of this milestone, the Cynosport World Games Dog Agility Championships open with the running of the original course from the 1st Grand Prix in 1988, when 79 dogs competed in the three-day weekend tournament event in Houston, Texas. The course was simple by today's standards, and included only 17 obstacles, yet the winning round took more than 50 seconds. We are sure to see times well below this standard, despite the inclusion of the table, which was dropped from tournament competition in 1998. We are likely to find speed to be the biggest problem in today's running of the course. With the sequences straight on, and the A-frame taken twice, dropped poles and missed contacts are most likely to be the seen throughout the afternoon. The approach to the weave poles also leaves a little to be desired, as handlers must allow their dogs to carry on and possibly even push out to the left slightly after the double bar jump in order to effect a proper entry to the weave poles. Also, the tight handling path around the long jump to the table could literally trip up a handler or two, if they opt to crossover at that point in the course on the approach to the table. While yesterday's challenges may not be great by today's standards, the course provides a great warm-up for the event, and hopefully will set a fun, nostalgic tone for the weekend ahead.


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