Posted Date: April 14, 2008
Read about Stuart's accomplishments with IFCS teammate Qwik. By Brenna Fender
Stuart is a 7-time member of the US international agility team. He is also an 12-time USDAA national championship finalist and 5 time AKC national championship finalist.
|Photo by Karen Moureaux|
Stuart is heading to the WAC with his Border Collie, Qwik, who has attained the ADCH Platinum level and the AKC MACH2. Qwik finished his USDAA Agility Dog Championship in exactly one year from the date he entered his first trial in starters/novice. In 2006, Stuart and Qwik won two gold medals at IFCS World Agility Championships in the Power and Speed event and they are the current reigning World Champions in the Agility Biathlon event.
Stuart has judged for all major agility organizations and has judged internationally. He currently serves as a course design reviewer for USDAA and has served in that capacity since 1993.
BF: What are you doing now to get ready for the IFCS WAC?
SM: Training-wise I am not doing anything different at home other than the exercises and courses [that were] sent**.
BF: Which of your strengths do you think will come in handy in IFCS competition and why?
SM: Strength-wise I guess the fact that Qwik is a real good all around dog. He has a lot of skills for all the events, (Snooker, Gamblers, Jumpers, Standard...). We are going to need all of them if we are to get by those courses that the judges are setting up, especially the Australian and Russian judges.
**The IFCS asks the judges on the judging panel to provide a small set of courses (four to five) that they have previously judged in competition. These course sets are distributed about two to three months before the competition to all of the teams entered. This helps to ensure that no one country has an advantage over other countries because they may have more experience showing under that judge.
As with other years, some of these courses contain challenges that may not be frequently seen in competitions in the U.S. Also it can sometimes be possible to analyze a set of courses and determine skills it appears that judge likes to test.
Coach Stacy Peardot-Goudy and team manager Janet Gauntt put together some training courses and drills for the team members to work on independently that will hopefully prepare them for these challenges.
Help Team USA in their quest for the gold by visiting the USDAA Online Store. Sponsorship packages, a lapel pin, and DVDs are now being sold in support of Team USA to help fund their travel to Belgium.