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Georgia's First Intro Program Only Event

Diane Castle reports on Run Spot Jump's first trial. Photos courtesy of Trish McCabe.

Run Spot Jump in Canton, Georgia, held their first ever trial and the first Intro trial in Georgia on February 18th.  We had no idea of how it would be received and were overwhelmed with the response, to say the least.  Sixty one handlers entered 65 dogs and ran a total of 198 runs divided over four courses; Gamblers, Standard, Snooker and Jumpers.

Judge Rebecca Schnulle briefs competitors.

The Intro program was developed to offer a transition from training to trialing for new handlers and new dogs as well as introduce people to USDAA style agility.  I think this trial accomplished all these goals as the entered handlers were divided fairly evenly between people brand new to agility, experienced handlers with young dogs and experienced handlers and dogs that had never tried USDAA agility. Several dogs were run For Exhibition Only (FEO) so they could work on problem areas like start line stays and contacts in a trial environment and then get rewarded with a toy.
Intro trials can be held in smaller spaces so our 45' x 85' training room was perfect.  Since the ring took up the whole room, their was no room for spectators except for two large doorways.  We set up a live feed and played it on a TV in our side room so folks could sit and watch while they ate or just hung out with friends.  So many handlers in this small space led to walk throughs being split.
The large dog handlers walk the course.

Judge Rebecca Schnulle designed wonderful courses for our small space.  She did a great job explaining Snooker to all the new folks and that class produced our highest percentage of qualifying runs (15 of 38)!
We were able to hold an award ceremony while waiting for the next course. This has not been done in trials in our area for a long time and old and new folks enjoyed celebrating their new ribbons with everyone gathered in one place.

A happy competitor collects a ribbon for her Snooker Q.

Our many volunteers helped keep the trial running smoothly all day.  Many competitors as well as people from the agility community who weren't running dogs jumped in to help. Coupons were given out to use against future entries and all workers were fed.
Many positive comments were made and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Run Spot Jump is looking forward to hosting a titling and tournament trial in May but we will definitely have another Intro Only trial in the future.

Diane Castle has been involved in agility since 1994. She has had several German Shepherds including Performance Lifetime Bronze earning and Performance Grand Prix finalist Tenor, and two Jack Russells. She currently runs Border Collie ADCH Bach and JRT Jazz, SG. Castle owns Run Spot Jump Dog Training in Canton, Georgia.


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