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Talking with... Stephanie Spyr

The next in a series of interviews with USDAA IFCS World Agility Championship team members. By Brenna Fender

The 2010 World Agility Championships are fast approaching. USDAA will send a terrific team to Clevedon, North Sommerset in the United Kingdom for the event that runs from May 14-16 at the Hand Equestrian Centre. Team members include Angie Benacquisto with Duncan and Dylan, Daneen Fox and Masher, Janelle Julyan and Eve, Rhonda Koeske and Tack, Elise Lynch and Ting, Kate Moureaux and Driven, Stephanie Spyr and Rage, Rosanne DeMascio and Drifter, Dudley Fontaine and Maverick, Ann Zarr and Skylar, Suzanne Wesley and Sonic, and coach Stacy Peardot-Goudy. To celebrate our team, we'll be doing periodic interviews with team members.

Stephanie Spyr is a professional dog trainer who lives in El Segundo, California. In addition to agility, Stephanie and her dogs have just started to do some herding, and she says, "I wish I had more time to devote to this cool sport; so do my dogs!" When not training dogs, Stephanie enjoys gardening, reading, and hiking.

Brenna Fender (BF): How did your family and friends react to you making the IFCS team?

Stephanie Spyr (SS): They were all very excited and happy for me!

BF: Will a friend or family member travel with you to the event?

SS: My very dear friend, Geri Hernandez, will be coming with Rage and me to England.

BF: How tough did you find the qualification process to become a team member?

SS: I really had a lot of fun at each of the events.  The 4-Stars were an interesting addition and I always enjoy attending Regionals and National events.

BF: What is your goal for this year's event?

SS: To stay focused and calm and run my very best in each event, and of course to have a great time!

BF: How would you describe your emotions as the event draws closer?

SS: I am getting more excited as the event gets closer.  I am a bit nervous about the travel.  This is the first time I have taken a dog into a foreign country.  It has been a very long and confusing process getting all the paper work in order for the dog to enter England.  I am crossing my fingers that I have done everything right and all goes well with the travel!

BF: What is your greatest concern about the trip to the UK for the event?

SS: Getting my dog there and back safely!

BF: What do you think will be the most difficult part of the competition itself?

SS: Staying focused and calm between runs.  

BF: What do you expect to be fairly easy or smooth? 

SS: I expect the actual runs in the competition to be the best part of the trip.  I love to run my dog and I can always count on him giving me his all.

BF: Any other comments? 

SS: Keep your fingers crossed for Team USA!

Brenna Fender is the editor for the USDAA's subscriber services portion of the website.  She is also a freelance writer, wife, and parent of two dogs and two children.  Please contact Brenna at with comments, questions, or submissions.

Photo by Karen Moureaux,


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