March Chairman's Report
-- New Performance and Agility Opportunities Available to Competitors --
The American Kennel Club has recently launched several new competitive opportunities for exhibitors in Performance Events and Agility, and I’m pleased to update you about the success and progress of these programs.
The Blue Grass Coursing Club and Greyhound Association of Northern Georgia hosted the first AKC Coursing Ability Tests at the end of February. This new Titling event, which tests the dog’s ability to course, opens up the fun of Lure Coursing to beyond sight hounds to all dogs - purebreds and mixed-breeds.
There were 28 different breeds of all shapes and sizes coursed, including a Newfoundland, Great Dane, Boxers, Cardigan Welsh Corgis as well as mixed-breed dogs. The first dog to earn a Coursing Ability Title was "Juno," a Belgian Tervuren who also earned her AKC Championship three weeks prior.
The clubs received 158 entries over the five tests, and approximately 75% of the dogs passed, but the real focus was on camaraderie and fun. Competitors provided positive feedback, cheered on each other’s dogs and enjoyed the day. We look forward to seeing this event expand to clubs across the country. A big thank you goes to Doug Ljungren, AKC’s Performance Events AVP, for bringing this new sport to life!
In Agility, I’m pleased to announce the creation of the Preferred Agility Championship title, or PACH, which will take effect July 1st. Originally scheduled for 2013, we’re happy to implement it almost 2 years ahead of schedule to recognize our Preferred Agility dogs. Dogs must achieve a minimum of 750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores from the Excellent Standard and Jumpers with Weaves classes to obtain the championship.
The PACH title is also retroactive, so that any dog that met the requirements prior to July 1st, 2011 will have PACH prefix added to their AKC registered name in the registration database.
We are also looking forward to the upcoming 15th annual AKC National Agility Championship, in Lexington, VA on April 1-3. We have a record-breaking 1,136 entries, including for the first time ever Canine Partners listed dogs. And for even more fun, we’re using Twitter to publish real-time results of every run in every ring (ex. www.twitter.com/AKCRing1, etc.). We hope the exhibitors and spectators really enjoy this!
Finally, we’re pleased to announce the first Master Agility Champion mixed-breed dog.
"Prince Doggie," a 5-year-old from Michigan completed the MACH title requirements on February 20 at a trial in Dexter, Michigan. This title came just ten months after the AKC Canine Partners program enrollees became eligible to compete in AKC Agility, Obedience and Rally trials. It’s impressive to note that this accomplishment was achieved by a first-time dog owner! Congratulations to Prince Doggie!
We hope all of these new events will attract new dog owners to the world of AKC events! We look forward to showing the public the fun they can have with their dog as well as providing new competitive avenues for our long-time competitors.
For the latest updates and coverage on these new programs, stay tuned to www.akc.org and AKC’sFacebook and Twitter pages.
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