Chairman's Report

April 2010

-- Purebreds and Mixed Breeds Spring into Agility Action --

Spring is always an exciting time for AKC Companion Events, especially Agility. Since its inception, Agility has been AKC’s fastest growing dog sport. It continued its growth in 2009 with 2,292 events (up 6.7 percent over 2008), 870,603 entries (up 3.8 percent over 2008) and saw 699 Master Agility Champion (MACH) titles earned. That’s a lot of dogs and owners having fun!

In late March, many of these MACH dogs ran at the AKC National Agility Championship, sponsored by LubriSyn, which returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event was a rousing success, awarding eleven national titles to the fastest, fittest dogs in the country. In addition to the traditional titles awarded in the six jump heights ranging from 8" to 26," we also awarded five national titles in the Preferred height classes for the first time. The Preferred classes permit dogs to jump at a lower height and allow them more time to complete the course than in regular agility competition.

AKC Senior Agility Field Representative Carrie DeYoung posted real-time results live from Tulsa on the AKC’s Facebook page throughout the weekend, allowing people who couldn’t attend the National Agility Championship to stay on top of the action. The postings were enthusiastically received by our AKC Agility fans who cheered on and congratulated their favorites via the internet.

Another exciting development impacting Agility took place just a few days ago with the inclusion of AKC Canine PartnersSM enrollees in AKC companion events. On Easter weekend, 29 clubs across the country held 75 events with more than 500 mixed breed entries in AKC Rally®, Obedience and Agility. From New Jersey to California five mixed-breed dogs earned their AKC titles over the weekend and we look forward to many more over the coming months, with more than 2,000 clubs opening their companion events to mixed-breed dogs.

Congratulations go out to all the National Agility Championship winners and exhibitors as well as the new AKC title holders with mixed-breed dogs. The feedback from exhibitors, clubs and field reps following the inaugural weekend has been tremendously positive.

Every dog owner can now enjoy the thrill of Agility competition, whether with an AKC-registered purebred or an AKC Canine Partners enrollee. Agility is not only fun but helps owners bond with their dogs – which we all know creates well socialized, engaged, and happy pets. Bonds forged through competitive training also enhance adopted dogs’ chances of staying with their new families. We believe that "Lots More Dog Fun" is right around the corner for millions of dog lovers! Please join us!

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman