Posted Date: September 27, 2016
A recap of the Mexico USDAA Regional by Judge Frank Holik.
by Frank Holik
The Mexico USDAA Regional was held at a soccer facility called, Arqueros Acadamy in the city of Metepec, Estado de Mexico.
We pulled up to the venue that was surrounded by a 12-foot high concrete wall. The parking attendant opened an old wrought iron gate for us to drive through and we entered the parking area. Then before our eyes was a huge, gorgeous soccer facility.
The two agility rings were arranged at the far end of the field and probably only took up about a quarter of the field with plenty of space for exhibitors to set up tents and crate their dogs.
At first, I had expected a hard surface underneath Astroturf, but that was not the case at all.
The artificial turf was soft and forgiving, much like the turf we are accustomed to at indoor facilities here in the states. There were absolutely no problems with dogs slipping, even after the turf had gotten wet.
The event consisted of Team, Steeplechase, Local and Qualifying Grand Prix runs along with multiple Titling classes.
One of the best things about the weekend was to see how many new dog and handler teams were about to compete in their very first USDAA event.
I bet I measured around 30 dogs on the first day and I'd say I was the first signature on their blue temporary card for about a third of them.
This is a testament to the hard work all of the agility clubs in Mexico have put into promoting the USDAA agility program, south of the border.
The forecast for the weekend a day before the event was not very promising, as there was an 80% chance of rain each day. That forecast changed day to day and seemingly hour to hour. Each day was virtually identical, with temperatures in the mid 50's in the mornings, upper 70's in the afternoon, with clouds rolling in towards the end of each day. We were very lucky as the only rain for the weekend was later in the day on Friday, which thankfully did not cause any problems.
The event saw an overall entry of 100 dogs with about 15 total teams competing in the Dog Agility Masters event. Of those entered included two dog and handler teams from Texas and a third from California.
The word of the weekend was "Teamwork" as each day was sponsored by different Mexican agility clubs.
Day one's workers and ring crew consisted of Chela Calderon and the members of her club, Perro Feliz and the other ring had Team Work Agility, captained by Raul Laguna and his son Daniel.
Saturday saw Fernando Bautista and his wife Liz with their group Smart Dog Agility champion one ring, while Paco Berjon his wife Barbara along with their helpers from Agility Del Sur provided ring crew for the second ring.
For Sunday's finale, Oscar Gonzales and his wife Ginny worked one ring with their friends from Freelance Sport Agility with Agility Chiluca led by Malu Monroy and Rene Esquivel working the other.
Working the scoring table diligently all weekend were Agility very own, Pam Pazzi and Ana Bertha Garcia. All the trial entries for the weekend were handled by Smart Dog Agility.
Overall, the weekend was fun and successful for everyone. Many "Q's" were earned, a few new titles achieved and ALL Teams in the Dog Agility Masters event received qualifying scores. A HUGE "gracias" for all the help from the clubs and club members I mentioned above and to everyone else, too many to mention. It was great to see some old friends and to make new friends throughout the weekend.
The best of luck and continued success to everyone involved within the program in Mexico.
Hasta la vista!