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Talking with IFCS WAC Team Member Dudley Fontaine

Deborah Davidson Harpur chats with Dudley about her preparation for the IFCS event and what it was like to have to pull one of her two dogs from the team.


Dudley Fontain and Maverick. Photo by Karen Moureaux, dogsportphotos.com

Handler Name: Dudley Fontaine
Dog Name/Breed/Age: Border Collies Sweet and Maverick, aged 7 and 5
Hometown: Advance, North Carolina
Years competing in agility: Since the early 90's

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?

I wanted to try out for the team regardless of country of venue!

Have you ever tried out for the team in the past?

Yes.

Have you represented the USA at an event before?

I had the honor of running with Maverick for the USA in IFCS 2010; Sweet was alternate (and I had the bad luck to fall in round 1 and bust my elbow!). Also have run on the USA Team for WAO 2011; that time Sweet was on the team, and Maverick was alternate. We are running again WAO 2012. Both Sweet and Maverick made this team.


Since this year's event is in Texas, do you find yourself enjoying any type of "home court" advantage?

I have no idea till we get to Texas!
 
What were some of the challenges you faced during the world team qualification process?

Being fit, mentally sharp, and a moderately decent trainer is always a challenge!  Besides that, the travel for selection trials can be daunting.
 
How did your family and friends react to the news that you made the USA IFCS team?

They are thrilled for me.  I have the best family and friends in the world.... lucky me!
 
Will any of your family or friends be traveling to the event to cheer you on?

My husband Greg will be there. He is the trial chair for this event.  My mom, dad, brother, and not sure how many other members of my family are hoping to come also. 
 
What is your goal at this year's event?

My goal is to help Team USA WIN!
 
Have you done any specialized training to prepare for this event?

I do loads of physical fitness training for both me and the dogs.  My goal is to have us as physically sound and ready as possible while still being "fresh."
 
What do you think will be he most difficult part of the event for you and your dog?

The most difficult part of this event is having to pull Maverick from the team.  He had a soft tissue strain and while he is recovering well, I wasn't sure we would be in our best form by the time of the champs.  Since I am part of a team and not running as an individual, I couldn't in good conscience "hope for the best" and wait until the last minute. While it was an easy choice in one way, i.e.: doing what I felt was best for the team given the timing, it was hard to pull.  But he's looking great and we'll come back better than ever.  I have every confidence Ann Braue and Scream will be brilliant for Team USA and we are lucky to have them!
 
Do you want to give any "shout outs" or share any other comments?

I would like to say "Thank you" for the opportunity to run and compete.  It's very special and I truly am proud and grateful.  Yay USA!


 
Dudley and Sweet. Photo by Eric Bobkowski.
 

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.

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