Posted Date: November 1, 2007
The awards dinner is where we truly realize we and our great dogs have ARRIVED! By Karey Krauter
Welcome to the competitors at the 2007 USDAA 20th annual Cynosports World Championships and congratulations on your year's amazing accomplishments and on being able to showcase your dogs' skills on this international stage!
I arrived at Scottsdale Wednesday afternoon in time to watch part of the Grand Prix Classic warm-up class. It was amazing to think what dogs in 1988 must have been like on this course. Competitors were arriving all afternoon in time to attend the annual awards dinner Wednesday night, where we looked forward to downtime (possibly the only chance we would have all week!) over good food with our local buddies we hang with all the time and our distant friends we only see once a year. We were too big a crowd to all fit in the dining hall, so the dinner format was changed from a sit-down affair to a stand-up mixer event this year. The different dishes at several serving stations, and having gatherings form and dissolve and reform all evening inside and outside (under mild clear Arizona stars), was very effective for mixing people up and connecting me with more old friends than ever before!
Also by the way, Happy Halloween to everyone! Several competitors put together very creative costumes that we were able to preview all through dinner; after dinner they were encouraged to ham it up while a judging panel voted on the which were the winners. There was a pirate with a fallen-down drunk parrot on her shoulder, a competitor from Japan who dressed her Papillon in the cutest pumpkin get-up, a toddler in a monkey costume (Tania Chadwick's son Carter), Dumbledore and Grindelwald (Greg Louganis and his significant other). Sixth place was a small person in a very cute clown costume (someone who looked like a junior handler that will beat our pants off tomorrow). Fifth place was Judy Guillot as the Spider Lady (with great spidery leggings and face mask and gloves). Fourth place was Suzi Cope dressed as her poodle Jib (the pompom tail was the best part). Third place was Cruella Deville and her partner dressed as a Dalmation. Second place was the agility handlers from Mercury of the year 2107 (Marq and Rebecca Cheek looked quite fashionable in their cosmic-ray-proof klaatu suits and invisible dogs). First place went to a foursome dressed as startline and finishline full-curtain electronic timer eyes, with the correct matching of red and black caps (Ziji Scott and Scott Herr and Jill Gustofson and Sandy Zajkowski). We'll try to get some pictures up of everyone soon!
Next was the Kenneling Area Decorating contest. Dedicated kenneling tents here at Scottsdale are assigned letters of the alphabet A through V, each holding about 20 kennel assignments. Sixth place was won by the whole tent that is occupied by the Texas contingent. Fifth place was the Wizard of Oz team's spot. Fourth was the group of spaces occupied by the teams from Japan (I was delighted to run across them this afternoon videotaping the decorating of their space, they were truly enjoying the spirit of the occasion). Third place was the Rats and Jacks team spot. Second place was Greg Louganis' spot. First place was the Tiptoe Through The Roses team.
Enough of the silly stuff, let's get on to the reason we're here! Our emcees were our USDAA Board members - Jim Basic, Diane Carson, Stacy Peardot-Goudy, and Tom Kula. Jim bade welcome to our expanding list of honorable visiting countries: Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rico, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, and Spain. Diane Carson bade welcome to our esteemed judges from the US and elsewhere. A huge (bigger every year!) banner was on display at the stage listing those on the top ten lists this year as well as those earning their Lifetime Achievement Awards. While it's sad there were too many LAA-Bronze (100-plus?) and LAA-Silver (29) awards to call out by name, it's also a credit to the sport and the handlers that so many of our dogs are lasting longer in the sport. The LAA-Golds - 15 of them - were called off by name. It was a treat having Jim Basic, handler of the first LAA-Platinum dog, Mick (now 16 years old and still getting on fine thank you), to call off the names of those earning the Platinum award this year. There were 15 of those as well. Two of Jeanette Hutchinson's dogs earned their Platinum award including Penelope who is the first 12" dog to go Platinum. Lucy Long also earned Platinum on two of her dogs (Chili and Burst), and Nancy Gyes earned Platinum on two of her dogs (Riot and Wicked) this year.
Last but not least were three significant announcements (sorry to say none were about the location of the 2008 championships):
1. The very first One Thousand Legs award was presented, to Kathleen Wells and her dog Dory. Tom Kula suggested the award be called the Dory Award.
2. Starting in 2008, Performance Lifetime Achievement Awards will be recognized.
3. In honor of the 20th anniversary of these championships, the teeter that achieved infamy at the year 2000 Championships in Del Mar, California, has been resurrected. The teeter will be at the USDAA booth where rides may be purchased on it for $5 a pop or $50 unlimited. Proceeds will go towards supporting our 2008 IFCS team. After this event, we'll have a bonfire!
Let the games begin and good luck to everyone, and congratulations on BEING here!!!
Click here to see photos from this event.