Posted Date: March 9, 2011
A report from the Happy Tails Agility Club trial by Joy Moll, club president and USDAA trial chair.
[Editor's note: Veterans classes became available on March 1, so the weekend of March 5th saw the first classes in this new program dedicated to our aging agility partners.]
Happy Tails Agility Club in Farmington, New York offered Veterans classes this past weekend. We had four veterans dogs run in the veterans classes:
Joy Moll (Marion, New York) with an 11-year-old Border Collie, Sport, earned possibly the first ever qualifying score in Masters/P3/Veterans Gamblers with a first place and qualifying score. Sport also ran Snooker and got first and a Q. (He was the only dog jumping 12", but who's counting?)
Joy/Sport and Abbie Tamber/Micro (Jack Russell Terrier, approximately 12 years old) ran together in Relay having a clean run. Abbie and Micro were also first with a Q in Standard.
Abbie and Micro, along with Debra Berry (Macedon, New York) and Chester (an 11-year-old mixed breed) and Gigi Damick and her 10-year-old Samoyed, Molly, ran in Veterans Jumpers.
Judge David Bozak enjoyed judging his first veterans class. He says, "All of the dogs clearly enjoyed being out in the ring and playing and not just watching. It was fun to be there and see the bright eyes and wagging tails as these dogs showed that they could still play the game. Some had more of their 'pep' left than others, but none showed any evidence that they weren't ready to play as best they could. I was pleased to see that older dogs that weren't able to play weren't asked to do so just because the class was offered. I'm looking forward to judging more vets and who knows, maybe my own vet, Jemma 2.0 the Bionic Collie, will come out to run a Veterans Jumpers class in the spring!"
It was a great experience and Sport and I had a great time. He really enjoys jumping 12" and getting out there for a couple of classes. For me, it was great to be out there with my older guy so that we could enjoy some special time together.
My club really enjoyed adding the veterans classes. We offered them at a reduced fee and provided special placement ribbons to honor our veteran dogs. If anyone has any questions about what we did we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joy Moll started agility with Sport in 2001 as a way to get him to "lighten up." He retired in 2010 due to illness and other issues but missed the sport. The two really enjoyed their veterans runs.