by Faith Rogers, Junior Handler
Agility is in every sense of the word a team sport, a combination of speed, consistency, and trust. This is a sport filled with magical runs, but also frustrating disappointments. Perseverance builds character when training plans don't succeed and the only choice is to try again. The dedication and commitment of these Junior Handlers who compete with poise and confidence is a joy to watch. The AKC Junior Agility Competition is a culmination of a year of hard work, and I was able to speak with a few of these very talented junior handlers before they competed.
Aaliyah Watkins is 12 years old and in the seventh grade. She competes with her Scottish Terrier named Ramse. Aaliyah's favorite thing about agility is working with her dog. They train once a week using Ramse's favorite treat, liver, and compete about twice a month. Agility is Aaliyah's favorite hobby.
Aaliyah's sister, Chloe Watkins also loves agility. Chloe is nine years old and in the fourth grade. She competes with her Scottish Terrier, Falion. Chloe's favorite thing about agility is Runner Excellent. Her least favorite thing about agility is weaves. She trains every Thursday using Falion's favorite treat, cheese. Chloe's advice to other Juniors interested in starting agility is get a fast dog. Having a dog with short legs is her biggest challenge.
Carly Kreiser is nine years old and competes with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sullie. Carly's favorite thing about agility is running fast with her dog. She trains at home with Sullie's favorite treat, cheese. Carly's advice to Juniors interested in starting agility is to have fun with your dog.
Carly and Sullie have been working together less than a year, but they have 21 Double Q's ("double qualifying" earned by completing the agility course within the time provided without faults) and are 48 points away from their Master Agility Champion Title (MACH). In order to acquire the MACH title, a dog must achieve a minimum of 750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores from the Master Agility Excellent “B” Standard class and the Master Excellent Jumpers With Weaves “B” class. Way to go, Carly and Sullie!
Gabi with her Beagle, Ruby.
Gabi Loesch is 14 years old and has been competing for seven years. She competes with her seven year old Beagle, Ruby. They train one to two times a week. Gabi's favorite thing about agility is meeting other Juniors. Gabi's advice to juniors interested in starting out in agility is to have fun. She competed on the U. S. Team at the 2015 Junior European Open Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.
Anthony with his Rat Terrier, Zapit.
Anthony Rotelle is 12 years old and has been competing for five years with his Rat Terrier, Zapit. Zapit is two years old and his favorite treat is steak. Anthony and Zapit train every weekend. Anthony's favorite thing about agility is that his dog has a good time. His least favorite thing about agility is contacts (A-frame, teeter, dog walk) Anthony's advice to Juniors interested in getting started in agility is keep training and don't stop trying.
AKC JUNIORS AGILITY COMPETITION results:
Juniors who participated in the AKC Juniors Agility Competition competed in either the Junior Excellent or Superior Classes, depending on whether they had achieved an agility title.
Placing first in their height division (8", 12", 16", 20" and 24" respectively) in the Junior Excellent class were:
- 8”- Kayangee Dorothy Parker (“Dot”), a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel handled by John Rotelle
- 12”- PACH5 General Tommy Franks AX MXJ MJB MXP12 MXPC MJP16 MJPS2 PAX5 XF OFP T2BP (“Tommy”), a Parson Russell Terrier handled by Deva Wilson
- 16”- Foxglove Tempus Fugit MX MXJB OF T2B (“Zippy”), a Shetland Sheepdog handled by Tessa Winialski
- 20”- MACH Pine Run Pity The Fool (“Mr. T”), a Golden Retriever handled by John Rotelle
- 24”- MACH3 Zonkers Texas Hold'em CDX VCD2 RE XF (“Ace”), a Golden Retriever handled by David Frasca
Placing first in their height division (8”, 12”, 16", 20" and 24" respectively) in the Junior Superior class were:
- 12”- Pinky's Rockin' Rio CGC RN BN (“Rio”), an All-American Dog handled by Kailyn Merkle
- 16”- Kaiden's Blue Blaize RN BN CGC (“Blaize”), a Miniature American Shepherd handled by Kaiden Snider
- 20”- Eyespy Cech (“Check”), a Border Collie handled by Karr Hersh
- 24”- Sergeant Spencer (“Spencer”), a Golden Retriever handled by Emily Tregler
Congratulations to all the winners, and to all the Juniors who competed this year at the AKC Juniors Agility Competition. Congratulations for all your dedication and hard work. Way to go and best wishes for much future sucesss.