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Arrowhead Dog Agility Association of Duluth (ADAA) Celebrates 25th Anniversary

A big trial and celebration for ADAA.

by "Pugahontas" Kelly McFaul-Solem

The Arrowhead Dog Agility Association of Duluth (ADAA) celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a USDAA trial held on July 28-30, 2017.

The event took place at the Solway Town Hall on natural grass outdoors. Ann-Marie Vossler chaired the event, with Randy Holford as secretary and Tim Laubach performing judging duties. Tim also judged their very first trial in 1992.


Our underlying theme for the weekend was "Retro." We offered a $25 discount for any dog running in eight or more events to make our prices more in line with 1992 pricing. We started off the 25th Anniversary by celebrating the non-qualifying games we used to play just for the fun. Judge Randy Holford created a game called "Gitchi-Gumi Gamblers," a modified version of Gamblers similar to many Team Gamblers classes. It's name (also spelled Gitche-Gumee) comes from the Ojibway name for Lake Superior. It featured two locally themed obstacles for bonus points: a jump modeled after Duluth, Minnesota's Aerial Lift Bridge and and a "tunnel pretzel" decorated with an iron ore boat. Several of the competitors used these unique items in their runs. We also offered a fun game of Strategic Pairs on Saturday. People really seemed to enjoy the non-traditional classes and we gave out special prizes for placements! We also announced the qualifiers in most events throughout the weekend as a nod to the old days when everyone anxiously gathered around to see if they qualified or placed.

Rainbow Aerial Lift Bridge Jump

A special note about our Aerial Lift Bridge jump. Jim Craig designed and built this for the club and it has been a staple at all of our trials as well as a popular photo opportunity. It was originally created for a fun game called "Beat the Boat" which Darlene Woz judged back in the 90's. Since then, our club members have lost several dogs, so we have turned it into a Rainbow Bridge memorial by hanging personalized heart-shaped dog tags on it representing dogs who have passed away.

Rainbow Bridge Tags

On behalf of USDAA, Andy Hartman made the trip to Duluth and we were thrilled to see him again. He judged in 2015 for us and remains a favorite among the local crowd. We stopped the trial for awhile on Saturday so everyone could see his presentation of a beautiful crystal 25th Anniversary award. We all reminisced as we looked over results and catalogs from our early trials, shared root beer floats and cake and gave people a chance to win a lot of prizes. We also recognized two competitors who were at our first trial and continue to support us - Diane Craig and Bonnie Griep; as well as Carol Lemche who is the exhibitor who entered almost every trial we have held over the past 25 years.

Tunnel Pretzel

Tim brought many challenging courses and a great attitude. It was a very hot, but fun weekend! We appreciated Andy making the trek as well - these two guys are great ambassadors for USDAA!

Thanks to USDAA!

Many titles were earned!

  • SSA & SJ - Diane Barlau and Kesa
  • SACH & GCH-Silver - Diane Craig and Quinn
  • AJ - Randy Holford and Phoenix
  • JCH - Brenda Ittner and Jake
  • PRM - Joan Kurlander and Lola
  • SJ - Kelly McFaul-Solem and Waltzing Matilda
  • PRM - Kelly McFaul-Solem and Siren
  • SG,SJ, SPK - Ian Owen and Flare
  • APK - Jill Waytashek and Hazel

A video of the tunnel pretzel:

All pictures by Kelly McFaul-Solem

All Grand Prix and Performance Grand Prix winners

Randy Holford and Andy Hartman with 25th anniversary award

USDAA 25th Anniversary Award for ADAA

Judge Tim Laubach

Lori Hutchins and Andy Hartman

Gitchi Gumi Gamblers

Strategic Pairs


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