Posted Date: April 16, 2012
Deborah Davidson Harpur chats with this first time world team member to see what he thinks about the upcoming event.
Name: Kevin Brown
Dog's name/breed/age: Hunter/Shetland Sheepdog/8 years old
Hometown: Fillmore, California
Occupation: Project Manager for Aerospace company
This year the IFCS World Agility Championships are being held in the U.S.A. Did knowing this affect your decision to try out for the team?
The event being held in the United States did affect my decision because Hunter had never flown before and I did not know how flying overseas would affect him. He does not ride well in a car, let alone an airplane. Before we decided to fly to a regional and the nationals last year my wife took him on a plane to see how he would react. He did all right so we decided to go for it.
Have you ever tried out for the team in the past?
I have never tried out for the team before. Hunter is my first agility dog and up until a year-and-a-half ago I didn't think he was consistent enough to make it. Since he turned eight years old last year I thought this might be his last shot at making the team.
Since the event is in the US, you find yourself enjoying any type of "home court" advantage?
I don't know if we have any home court advantage or not. There might be more pressure on the team to win with friends and family coming to watch. But it will be nice to hear all of the cheering for team USA.
What is your goal at this year's event?
My goal at this event is just like any other event, to win and bring home the Gold for team USA. But I really just want to have fun and soak all of this in because you never know if you will ever be in this position again. I am also very excited to be on such a great team with many experienced and accomplished handlers and dogs.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the world team qualification process?
The biggest challenge for me was not ever having competed in international courses before. I took many private lessons preparing for the international courses. They were very challenging at first but the more I practiced and ran them the more I liked them.
How did your family and friends react to the news that you made the USA IFCS team?
My family and friends have all been very excited for me. They are always asking me questions about the event and can't wait for the day to arrive.
Will any of your family or friends be traveling to the event to cheer you on?
Yes, I have many friends that have told me that they will be going to the event to cheer the team on. I will also have my wife Susie there supporting me like she always does.
Have you done any specialized training to prepare for this event?
Not really any specialized training. I have been concentrating on the international courses, working on drills to tighten turns and practiced Gamblers sequences.
Do you want to give any "shout outs" or share any other comments?
I just want to thank all of the people who have helped me in the past to get to this point. Without all of you I never would have made it on the team representing the USA.
Photo of Hunter courtesy of Kevin Brown. Photo of Hunter and Kevin courtesy of Susie Brown.
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.