Westminster Agility Winners Head to Harrisburg!
Delaney Ratner’s first memory of her family was from the inside an ex-pen at a show, sitting next to a big black dog waving to her mother. This weekend, Delaney, who with her Border Collie “Kelso” recently won the inaugural Westminster Kennel Club Master Agility Championship, and her mother Cindy Ratner, are hoping to create new memories at the AKC National Agility Championship March 28-30 at the Farm Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Not only did Delaney capture the 20” Class with Kelso but she also won the 12” Class title with her mom’s Miniature Schnauzer “Jonesy.” In Harrisburg she will be running Jonesy in the 12” class, hoping to repeat their winning performance at Westminster.
The family love of dogs is generations deep. Cindy Ratner was hooked on dog sports as a child spending summers with her aunt doing Obedience. Cindy brought her daughter Delaney to shows and trials early on, passing on that love of dogs and competition. By the time Delaney was 6 years old she had her first qualifying Agility run with her mother’s dog “Shane,” a spunky Shetland Sheepdog.
“Shane was like the horse you would put your 4-year-old on to learn to ride,” Delaney said. “I always grew up around dogs. I remember helping out with long stays when I was just 4-years old.”
The Big Game
Delaney, a 20-year-old college student from Maine studying managerial economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is looking forward to running Jonesy in her second trip with him to the big game.
“Last year was my first time at the AKC Agility Championship and it was very exciting,” Delaney said. The pair ran four clean rounds and placed second to “Sketcher” which was ‘beyond unbelievable,’ she said. “Sketcher” the Shetland Sheepdog has been on the AKC World Team twice and is the reigning 12” Champion for the 2013 National Agility Championship with his handler Barb Davis.
“She’s done a great job with motivating a thinking dog,” Cindy said. “She’s very skilled in building confidence in them.”
And it’s that confidence in handler and canine athlete that Cindy said she’s looking forward to watching as her daughter competes with “her” dog this weekend!