Posted Date: April 9, 2012
Deborah Davidson Harpur talked to Mia about the upcoming big event!
|Handler Name: Mia Grant|
Dog Name/Breed/Age: Vic/Border Collie/5 years
Hometown:Santa Barbara, California
Occupation: Dog/agility trainer
Years competing in agility: 11 years
|Photo of Vic, courtesy of Mia Grant.|
This year the IFCS World Agility Championships are being held in the USA. Did knowing this affect your decision to try out for the team?
It made a big difference for me. I'm still not sure how comfortable I am flying Vic overseas. Really a bit silly of me, since Vic came to me from the UK.
Have you ever tried out for the team in the past?
Never tried before, but have been thinking it could be fun for a few years.
Have you represented the USA at an event before?
Nope, both Vic and I are rookies on the international scene.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the world team qualification process?
Overall, I really enjoyed the process of trying for the team and Vic aced our first three events before Cynosports. I did have a setback a few weeks before Cynosports when I pulled my calf muscle. We went into that event without having practiced and I spent the first few days worried that I was going to hurt myself again. I'm happy with how I ran Saturday and Sunday of the event, but overall, Vic was awesome and I was just okay.
How did your family and friends react to the news that you made the USA IFCS team?
Everyone has been so supportive and enthusiastic about it, which just makes it all the more exciting for me.
Will any of your family or friends be traveling to the event to cheer you on?
We have quite the crew from SoCal flying out to cheer on the USA.
What is your goal at this year's event?
My goal is to appreciate, enjoy, and do my best. I want to be brave in my handling choices, clear in my cues, and run hard. I know Vic will do his best, so it's on me to rise to the occasion.
As the event comes closer and closer, are there additional stresses to your daily life because of your participation on the team?
Taking the time off of work is never without stress, but I'm much more excited than I am stressed out.
Have you done any specialized training to prepare for this event?
Most of our prep has been conditioning. We're both in much better shape than we were after Cynosports. Vic really doesn't have a weak class, so I haven't felt the need to do much extra work on the games. We have put more focus into the challenges we could see at an international event that we don't often see at our local shows.
What do you think will be he most difficult part of the event for you and your dog?
I think it being our first time at this type of event will be the "difficult" part, but it's still me and Vic playing agility together and that's fun, not difficult.
Do you want to give any "shout outs" or share any other comments?
I have to thank my amazing friends and students for all their support and encouragement this past year. We couldn't have done it without you!
Photo of Vic and Mia, courtesy of Christine Burton.
Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1998. She currently handles 16 dogs of various breeds including Rat Terriers, All Americans, French Bull Dogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, a Border Collie and more. She enjoys competing in USDAA agility and is the proud mom of USDAA roving reporter Rickie Roo. Her dogs are all proud canine ambassadors for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and for ilovedogs.com, tj.la, and ilovedogsdiamonds.com. You can learn more about Deborah and her dogs at pm2dogagility.com.