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Cynosport Competitor Spotlight: Hope & Bobbijo

Introducing a dog-handler team from this year's Cynosport event, Bobbijo and Hope Jones.
by Kama Reuschenberg

Bobbijo is a seven-year-old Bassett Hound, and Hope Jones is her patient, dedicated handler from South Carolina. Not only is Bobbijo Hope's first dog competing in agility, but the 2015 USDAA Cynosport World Games is also their first time attending a national competition!

Hope and Bobbijo fell into agility by accident. They were looking for an obedience class, but the instructor they called no longer had any available. The instructor did, however, offer agility and she encouraged Hope to just give it a try.

What Hope didn't know at the time is how much fun agility would be for Bobbijo, and how addictive agility would be for them both. After being encouraged to enter a competition with Bobbijo, that is exactly what happened - Hope caught the agility bug.

Hope and Bobbijo currently train in Charleston, South Carolina at SCoot Dog Agility with John and Becka Thrift. Through her training there and her profession as a special education instructor for grammar school, Hope has developed an incredibly positive attitude. She follows the statement, Never say never, and always believe, and wears little reminders to believe in her agility jewelry and competition clothes.

This notable team began training in 2010 and after only five years of agility training, her trainers and friends at SCoot encouraged her to enter the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional in Pennsylvania and, later, the 2015 USDAA Cynosport World Games.

This year, Hope and Bobbijo are entered in Performance Versatility Pairs with Anna Blanton and her Border Collie, Bea. Hope attributes a big part of her choosing to come to the 2015 USDAA Cynosports World Games to Anna. Hope and Anna are both teachers and appropriately named their team Teachers' Pets. As they walk to each and every start-line they are competing with Anna's philosophy, You can't win if you don't try.

Hope also entered the Performance Speed Jumping Quarterfinals with Bobbijo, and she has set goals to qualify for more events for the 2016 USDAA Cynosport World Games.

Hope and Bobbijo are an inspirational team who embody the concept of perseverance will get you far. "You have to work hard, you have to put the time in; you can't go to class once a week and think that's going to do it," said Hope.

"People have told us to quit, and I'm so glad I didn't," Hope continued. "Every team has adversity, but it is a matter of belief. You have to build the relationship and trust, and have people who believe in you so you believe in you," Hope added with tears in her eyes.

Ten dog/handler teams are attending the 2015 USDAA Cynosport World Games from the dog agility school Hope and Bobbijo train with, and you can hear them cheer for one another before, during, and after runs. In addition to support from her school, Hope has teachers from home sending text messages of encouragement and praise.

"I never thought this day was going to come, and I almost didn't come when I found out I had qualified. I'm glad I took a chance," Hope said.

To anyone out there currently competing or planning on competing, Hope wants to say, "You can do it if you have the desire and you believe."

Let Hope and Bobbijo know you believe in them too! Send encouragement through the Facebook page for SCoot, where Hope and Bobbijo train.


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