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Cynosport® World Games
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Cynosport: Day Three

A report by Deborah Davidson Harpur.

Day 3 of the Cynosport World Games started with the early morning briefings. There were several classes run today before the finals in the evening. Team events included Gamblers and Jumpers. By far the most talked about event was the Master Challenge Jumpers. This course was challenging for sure. You can read a course analysis by Julie Daniels here.
See all of Friday's courses here.

Shelley Permann (California) ran the Masters Challenge course with Tek (Border Collie) and said, "I thought Master Challenge Jumpers rocked. UBER fun. Best course of the weekend so far! I flubbed the weave pole entry but it still was a blast to run."
Emily Hurt (Texas) ran the same course with Josefin (Border Collie) and gives an in-depth analysis: 

"The off-course #4 was very enticing to the dogs, but if you set the correct line over #1, and they took #2 on the right lead it was easy to avoid that fault. The wrap/pull-through at #3 got a lot of dogs as the handlers waited too long to move and either pushed them back over #2, or to far over #4 to the off course #12. Most handlers opted/tried to turn their dogs right over #5 as it set a better line for #6-#8. In the Master Challenge Jumpers ring, it was imperative that either the dog turn right or you be faster than your dog to race them past #6. In the Performance Masters Challenge Jumpers ring, either turn worked equally well. The rings were set very differently! (This caused me a refusal in the Performance course, as I handled it as I'd walked in the other ring, dang it!) 

The weave entry caught a lot of dogs by surprise. I was very shocked to see so many very experienced dogs/handlers messing up this entrance. I opted to push my dogs over #8 with dog on right, and send into the weaves dog on right, and then run the poles with dog on right, so on video it looks like a hard rear [cross] but technically it's not a rear at all, just a very severe entrance! I also saw many people that did a landing side front at #8 to send to the weaves with dog on left, and it worked about 50% of the time in the runs I watched. I think it's safe to say that if you made it through the weaves clean, the threadle wasn't an issue. I didn't see many faulted performances on otherwise clean runs through there.

The next interesting set of handling choices was presented at #12-15. Most handlers opted/tried to turn their dogs left to set a straighter line to #15, decreasing the possibility of the off course over #15. In Performance Challenge Jumpers, again going either way over #13 seemed to work just fine, vs. in Masters Challenge Jumpers turning either way could have disastrous results! I saw many dogs gravitate to the long jump after #13, either going off-course or incurring a refusal at #14. Turning right at #13 opened up the possibility of the off course on the way to #15, but many managed to get through that section unscathed. Josie wound up with a refusal at #5 on an otherwise flawless run, and Rikki took down #13, but did an AWESOME job for a two-year-old BABY dog. I JUST LOVED that course."
Amber Abbott (Arizona) said, "Masters Challenge was, not surprisingly, technical with a back side, tough weave entry, threadle, and places you had to get to show your dog the correct way. There were different ways to handle it, and it was fun to watch.... Really fun to run! Send, trust and move was helpful."
Team Jumpers: The general opinion of the handlers I spoke to all agreed that the Jumpers course was challenging, yet not totally out of an average handlers reach. Shelley Permann (California) ran this class with Tek (Border Collie)  and said, "Team Jumpers was subtle, speedy, technical, everything a nationals course should be. Designed by our own Scott Lovelis (he'll get a swelled head over all the praise for it![laughs])."
Kelsey Kirkpatrick (California) ran Legitimate and Ace (Border Collies) and shared, "I thought Jumpers was a lot of fun. Great challenges that made you think on your feet and really run. I really enjoy thought type of courses."
Team Gamblers: The gamble class was a timed gamble and did not have a specific "send at the end." This allowed the teams to strategize to get the maximum points for their own runs, and for their combined scores for their teams. Amber Abbott (Arizona) ran this course with multiple dogs and described the course to me: "After the opening period, you could only take jumps and they were each three points. Touch anything else and you lost your gamble points. You had to get over the finish jump before your time was up. My dogs did great." Kate Moureaux (California) ran Driven, Power, Jammer, and Smart (Border Collies) on this course said, "While time gambles are fun, I would really prefer to see a distance gamble incorporated into Team Gamblers." And Dawn Weaver (United Kingdom) said, "We don't do many Gamblers courses in the UK; I would have preferred a more definite gamble as this one was rather vague." Julie Sandoval (California) was in the stands during the Gamblers class and she said, "As a spectator I liked it because it was a little exciting to watch people really go all out for points and sometimes it paid off and well some did not have the gamble pay off."
Performance Grand Prix Finals: Shelley Permann ran with Letti (Cardigan Corgi who finished second) and said, "PGP finals had some very interesting sections too; I enjoyed it. Finals ran more smoothly than it looks on paper. FYI, the 8" dogs all ran over a open dog A-Frame. I normally am compulsive about checking that for Letti but as the first dog and all the back/forthing before they got going, I just didn't notice. My BAD for sure. I watched her descent and she looks like a crab coming down (not something she usually does!). Girlie will be enjoying her laser and massage tomorrow for sure!"
After talking to the handlers at the event, it seems the courses this year are full of fun and excitement for every size and height of dog.
Up Saturday: " Standard:
  - Dog Agility Masters® Team
  - Performance Versatility Pairs
  - Veterans All-Around
" Jumpers:
  - Performance Versatility Pairs
  - Veterans All-Around
" Grand Prix of Dog Agility® Semifinals

" Evening Events:
  - Junior Handlers Showcase
  - Veterans Showcase
  - Relay:
     - Dog Agility Masters® Team Championship Final
     - Performance Versatility Pairs Championship Final

Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1999 and is known as a handler of a wide variety of breeds of all shapes and sizes. She offers agility training classes in the Port of Los Angeles area for both recreational and competitive agility students. You can find her on facebook at or read about her dogs at


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