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First Singapore USDAA Dog Agility Event

USDAA's newest international affiliate in Singapore reports on its first event.

Singapore kicked off the New Year with it's first USDAA sanctioned dog agility trial held in one of Singapore's three famous dog runs - the Bishan Park Dog Run. The National Park Boards of Singapore has kindly allowed my school, PUPS to bring this event, the first of its kind in Singapore at the park. Open to the public, anyone can come to watch the event. In order to promote the Sport of Dog Agility, there was a mini-agility ring set up for the public to try out the agility equipments for free.

On our first day we had rain - everything was wet, everyone was in raincoats and umbrellas, the ground was soggy with mud; however, the show must go on. We started off an hour late with a slight drizzle with a Beginner Agility and Jumpers Non-titling class.  This was followed by our first Standard Starters Agility class, with 14 dogs running. Two qualified on this run. We then ran a Starter Jumpers class in which we had three qualifiers. Due to the rain we had to postpone two classes to the next day. 

Our second day was a blessing in disguise.  The weather forecast predicted showers with thunder, but God gave us cool dry weather instead. The ground was soft and great for the dogs. There were even more qualifiers on this day. Three earned qualifications in the Grand Prix of Dog Agility local qualifier, another three qualified in the Dog Agility Steeplechase local qualifiers, seven qualifiers in Performance I Jumpers, and three for Performance I Standard and Starters Snooker. In Starter Gamblers we had four qualifiers. Not bad for a start.

Being a small agility community, everyone here chipped in to help in getting this event up and going  even the participants.  We were lucky to get volunteers who took their time off from their family and friends (and their dogs) for the two days to help out in the event. Our Hong Kong Judges, Albert Hui and Carrie Lee had been very helpful and patient in answering participants questions on USDAA rules and regulations and assist in training our volunteers to run the event.

Agility proved to be a crowd puller, despite the rain the first day.  People with dogs and curious park goers still streamed in to watch the event. The crowd started accumulating as the rain stopped, and the wet empty chairs that we rented for the spectators were filled. As for the second day, most of the chairs put up were filled at the start of the event and we had people cheering and clapping as the participants and their dogs ran the course.

The participants' dogs had a field day, testing their endurance in this sport. By the time we had our last class of the day, which was our Starter Gamblers, we can see the dogs tiring out as some of them were not able to climb the A Frame.

The success of this event is attributed to our volunteers. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers that helped out in this two-day event. Yulin(Photographer Day 1), Damian (Course Builder), Paula (Ring Steward), Mei Yi and friends (Timer, Ring Stewards) Anna (MC), Jananinpriya (Ring Steward), Allison (Timer), Gail (Photographer Day 2), Dawn (Scorer,Scribe), Anderson (Trial Manager cum Scorer cum Ring Steward),  Lina (Registration), Terrence (Course Builder), Christine, Elsa, Alvin (Mini Agility Trainers) and Ah Hwa (Helper). Without them we would not be able to run our own dogs.

We were advised to not participate as it can be exhausting running both the show and competing, but the idea of bringing USDAA to Singapore is to improve the standard of dog agility, put Singapore into the map of international dog agility and to involve our own dogs too. We must not forget that the one who introduced the sport of Dog Agility into our lives is our very own dogs, Max, Mikah, Keesha and Benji.

Compiled by Debra Sim, CPDT, WMA Certified Dog Agility Instructor.
Puppy to Utility Practical Solutions, (PUPS)
USDAA Affiliated Group, Singapore
Debra and her husband lives with 3 Border Collies and an Australian Shepherd in the Sunny island of Singapore, the Merlion City


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