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It's Time to Enter the Cynosport Games! (A Rickie Roo Interview)

USDAA's canine roving reporter Rickie Roo gets the skinny on Cynosports entries and more from Elizabeth Armstrong's talented Border Collie, Riggs.


Good day to everyone in USDAAland! Today I am interviewing Riggs, a 10-year-old Border Collie From Lowry Crossing, Texas. Riggs is loved and handled by Elizabeth Armstrong, the trial secretary for the USDAA Cynosport Games.  Riggs, last year's 22" height division Performance Grand Prix Champion and seasoned competitor has a long, distinguished career and is a very interesting dog. I hope you enjoy this interview with him.

Rickie Roo (RR): Nice to meet you! What is your full name?

Riggs (R): Peak's Big Rig, but everyone calls me Riggs

RR: I know you are a very seasoned competitor, winning numerous regional championships over the past six years and running in many national finals and semifinals. Can you tell me a few of your titling accomplishments?

R: In the Championship Program, I've earned the Agility Dog Champion® - Gold, Lifetime Achievement Award - Gold, Tournament Master - Platinum, Gamblers Champion - Platinum, Snooker Champion - Platinum, and Relay Champion  Platinum, among others.  And in Performance, I've earned Accomplished Performance Dog  Bronze, Standard, Accomplished Tournament Dog  Gold, and Accomplished Gamblers Dog  Silver.

RR: Wow, you are a seasoned competitor. Im still pretty new as I'm just turning three years old in September. Will I see you at the Cynosport games again this year? 

R: Oh yes! I'm really looking forward to it.

RR: Riggs, I know you will have some stress in your home in the next few weeks. I hear your mom is the trial secretary for the USDAA Cynosport World Games. How many entries do you think she processes for the Games each year?

R: I heard her say that there have been anywhere from 850 to over 1000 dogs that come to the Games for agility each year.  Big stacks of envelopes arrive in bundles and funny-looking white and sometimes brown trucks come to the house almost daily to drop off envelopes.  I like this the best, 'cause they ring the door bell and we all get to bark, though I think Mom hates that. 

RR: I'm sure it's a tough job to go through those entry forms. Have you heard her talk about anything that our moms and dads could do to be sure entries can be processed more efficiently?

R: Sure. It is a little different than a regular show, so there are some unique things:

**Because staples can tear or can be difficult to remove, people should use paperclips rather than staples to keep papers together.

**Your people should be sure to list events where they qualified for entry to each tournament; this is required on the entry form. The entry cannot be processed until eligibility can be verified (did you like how I used those big words?).
 
**There is no need to send in copies of height cards. Information is verified from qualification events that your mom or dad lists on your entry form.
 
**Because there are so many entries for this event, ask your person to send yours in as soon as possible, well ahead of the deadline. A few extra days can make a huge difference. My mom will make fewer mistakes if she has more time to process them. She's only a human, so we should take that into account.

**Again, because there are so many entries, if your person wants verification that my mom has received your entry, include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. It could be days before she gets your entry processed and get a confirmation out. If there is a card, she can pop it in the mail almost immediately. This is cheaper than certified mail, although it won't help you trace your form if it never arrives. If your person uses an overnight service, he or she should write down or keep the sender's copy of the airbill. Then your person should be able to go to shipper's website and verify whether it was delivered or not.
 
And here are some things that help with any show:

**Ask your person to please take the time to write neatly.

**Your person should verify the spelling on his or her email address and include a phone number where your person is most likely to be reached.

**If any contact information has changed, it helps to highlight this in some way.

**Ask your person to list complete information for your teammates in team or pairs classes. I like running with my friends, and if all information is not there and our owners' information does not match up, then we might get a different teammate to run with from a draw. It is good if teammates' moms or dads talk to each other to verify registration numbers that should be listed on the form together.

**Remind your person to sign the form.

**Check your arithmetic so that you send the right amount. My mom asks me to review the form, but I don't have a calculator, so I count on my toes. It is really kind of fun.
 
These last two particularly help save time for us and everyone behind us in line at check-in.

RR: I will remind my mom of that; I don't think she's so good at math. I know she has to use a machine to add up everything on our forms. Maybe if she counts doggie toes it will be faster! Are there things you think people could do on their entry forms to make things run more smoothly? 

R: The only other thing I can think of is that if your mom or dad has had a change in email address or phone number, be sure to highlight that. Some data may already be in the database, so changes are sometimes subtle and hard to catch.  

RR: Does your mommy trial secretary for other events?

R: Besides USDAA, she is the secretary for Dallas Agility Working Group's USDAA trials as well as her own club that she calls Happy Hounds Agility Team.   

RR: Enough about your mommy; I'd like to know a bit more about you. I know you won the 22" Performance Grand Prix last year. Did anything change for you after that big win?

R: No not really; well more people tell me what a good dog I am.  There is a really nice lady that says I am a rock star.  

RR: Was there anything about your winning run in last year's Performance Grand Prix Championships that you think you could have improved upon?

R: Mom says she was worried she would rush the dogwalk and I would miss that thing she calls a contact, but I had it all under control.  I'm not sure what the big deal was; I just went out and played my favorite game with mom while everyone was cheering for us and then got really excited at the end.   

RR: Are you ready to compete in that class again?

R: I think I am ready.  I have been keeping in shape this summer going jogging with mom and I even learned how to swim.  Mom says "You can teach an old dog new tricks, especially when the old dog get jealous."  You see, I can't let my new little brother have all the fun. 

RR: What classes are you planning on participating in at the Games this year?

R: I plan to play Performance Versatility Pairs with my friend Dodge and his mom Elizabeth Blanchard from Houston, as well as Performance Speed Jumping and, of course, Performance Grand Prix. 

RR: How do you motivate your handler to help her run her best on course?

R: I go fast and she'd better keep up.   

RR: What is your reward after a good run?

R: A great game of tug, tug, tug. I love to tug

RR: Me too! You wanna play a game of tug right now?

R: Sure!

Get your entry form for the 2010 Cynosport World Games here!

Rickie Roo is a two-year-old Rat Terrier that is loved and handled by Deborah Davidson Harpur of Harbor City, California. She enjoys running really fast, stealing treats, and being as naughty as a terrier can be. She is a proud canine ambassador for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and www.ilovedogs.com. Read more about Rickie Roo on www.pm2DogAgility.com

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Armstrong.

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