Posted Date: April 8, 2008
Meet one of the competitors who will represent USA/USDAA.
Photo of (l-r) Bailey, Darby, and Emmy taken by Sandi Shilling-Daniels
Mike Murphy and his Jack Russell Terriers live in New London, Pennsylvania, where Mike is an Applications Development Manager for JPMorgan Chase Card Services. Mike started doing agility in 1998 with his dog Darby, who is now 12 and retired.
Current competitor Bailey will be nine years and ten months old when she competes in the World Agility Championships this time. Over the years she and Mike have accumulated an amazing list of agility accomplishments, including currently claiming the number one spot in the 12" Top 10 Lifetime standings in Gamblers, Snooker, Jumpers, and Tournament. Bailey is currently #2 in Top 10 Lifetime Standard and out of first by only 7 points.
This duo won a Grand Prix Regional four years in a row and has been a finalist in many USDAA National events over the past several years.
Mike and Bailey represented the USDAA in IFCS competition in 2004 and 2006. In 2004 they were the silver medalists in Jumpers and they also earned a bronze medal in Steeplechase. As a member of the 2006 IFCS World Team they earned silver medals in Biathlon and Individual Snooker.
We asked Mike a few questions about the upcoming WAC.
BF: What are you doing to prepare for the competition?
MM: We are training on on all types and styles of courses. Also we started trialing a little earlier than normal to ensure Bailey and I are in sync. Additionally, Bailey is swimming on a regular basis to ensure she has her endurance/stamina up and ready to go.
BF: What do you think will be your strength at the WAC?
MM: Our strength for the WAC is our teamwork.
BF: Tell us something about you that people don't know.
MM: When Bailey started at the Masters Level, she started to stress, and ran out of the ring for about a year.
BF: Do you have any comments?
This is Bailey's third WAC, and I think she will be the oldest U.S. dog competing at this level (I think Julie Daniels' Spring was nine when we went to Spain, but not quite as old).
Good luck to Mike and Bailey at this year's competition!
Bailey at Fairhill. Photo by Saby at sportphotography.ca.
Help Team USA in their quest for the gold by visiting the USDAA Online Store. Sponsorship packages, a lapel pin, and DVDs are now being sold in support of Team USA to help fund their travel to Belgium.