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Grand Prix of Dog Agility® & Performance National Standard Quarterfinals

Classes have been completed.


By Brenna Fender and Monica Percival, Clean Run

Status

The same course is used for the Grand Prix of Dog Agility Quarterfinals and the Performance National Standard Quarterfinals.

There are 357 competitors running in the Grand Prix Quarterfinals and 118 in the Performance National Standard Quarterfinals. The top 50% of the dogs in each height division will go on to the Semifinals provided that they meet the minimum qualifying standard of 7 faults or fewer. For a list of competitors, go to http://www.usdaa.com/specialevents/competitorInfo.pdf.

For complete results, go to http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=184.

Grand Prix of Dog Agility? World Championships -- Quarterfinals

Background: The Grand Prix of Dog Agility? World Championships, now in its 18th year, is the oldest and longest running dog agility tournament in the western hemisphere. Starting from a simple three-day event in 1988 under international rules of competition, the tournament has expanded to include well over 100 local qualifying events, six U.S. regional championships and two foreign national championships, leading to the World Championship event. USDAA also recognizes competitive results of various international events enabling overseas competitors not having direct access to USDAA events the opportunity to participate. Since extending invitation to overseas competitors in 2001, more than 15 different countries on five continents have participated in the tournament series.

This year's championships will feature competitors from four continents representing the countries of Canada,
Colombia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Today the Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championships is one of the most respected tournament series in the world of dog sports.

Description: The tournament is divided into four competitive classes based upon the jumping height of the dogs -- 12", 16", 22" and 26" height classes. There is no distinction by breed, thus including mixed or cross-breeds.

Each competitor has qualified in local and/or regional qualifying competition throughout the past year. They will
"face off" in the World Quarterfinals on Friday, followed by the Semifinals on Saturday and the Finals on Sunday afternoon.

Scoring: Standard scoring applies with a standard course time set by the judge at a rate of no less than 3.5 yards per second.

Performance National Standard Championships -- Quarterfinals

Description: Dogs may not be entered in both Performance National Standard Championships and Grand Prix Championships at this event. Qualification requirements are the same, except that a dog must have qualified in the Performance National Standard class to be eligible for entry in this class. The quarterfinals and semifinals class eligiblity, descriptions and scoring follow that outlined above for the Grand Prix. Competitors advancing from the quarterfinals and those directly entered in the semifinals in each jump height and having 7 or fewer faults will advance to the finals as follows: a maximum of 4-8"/5-12"/8-16"/6-22".

Pre-Run Comments from Competitors

The competition starts early today, with activity buzzing long before the 9 AM start time. Exhibitor's impression of the course at walk through time are positive. "It looks really good," says Debbie Ediger, who is running the course with her Shetland Sheepdogs, Mercedes and Taffy. Border Collie owner Patti Davis agrees. "I think it is a really nice course -- nice and flowing," she says.

The course is not without challenge. "It's going to be fast," says Suzanne Birdsall, who is running in both the Grand Prix and the Performance events with her Jack Russel Terriers, Edge and Dancer. "The tight turn from the dogwalk to the tunnel is going to be one of the deciding factors," Birdsall says. She also believes that the equipment may have an effect on some runs. "The teeter is going to be hard for the little dogs - it will be hard to keep them on it because they want to move and it's a slow teeter."

Davis believes her young dog, Cloud, may find some trouble on the course. "One really hard spot for my dog will be off of the dogwalk, to the tunnel, tire, and double. That's the trickiest spot on the course for me. My dog has a ground speed of over six yards per second, so these huge strides - it's hard turning. There is potential for dropped bars and off courses," she says.

Course Analysis

The Grand Prix and Performance National Standard course has run very smoothly so far with only a few common problem areas. Some dogs are missing the chute by turning too wide after jump #18. A few were tempted by the off-course A-frame and others took a straight line between #17 and #18 which also caused them to turn too wide. Another difficulty came for dogs who lost time by not turning tightly back into the tunnel under the dogwalk. Handlers who had to micromanage this area had trouble pushing their dogs smoothly out to the tire.

Many handlers had good things to say about the course. "It had extremely good flow," says Bill Molloy, who had a great run with his Border Collie, Sydney. "If you let the dog run and have its head, it's set up right. If you overhandle, that's when you have problems," he adds. Pembroke Welsh Corgi owner Cheryl Burns says, "I thought it's nice because dogs get to run; it's not tight. Dogs get to have a great time. There are lots of areas that are hard work though, as it should be."

Course

Course Designer

Course designed by the judging panel.

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