With the National Agility Championship (NAC) over, you may be wondering what’s next. Luckily, the inaugural AKC Agility Premier Cup (APC) presented by EEM is just around the corner. And for three dogs, the goal is to win both the NAC and the APC back-to-back.
Meet Annie the Border Collie, Gabby the Papillon, and Logan the All-American Dog. There’s no rest for these three canines who are starting the year with multiple big agility events. After receiving top honors at the National Agility Championship in March, they hope to extend their winning at the inaugural Agility Premier Cup this April.
Sixty dogs will compete in the AKC Agility Premier Cup on Thursday, April 25 from 4 to 9 p.m. Invitees were chosen from the finalists of the AKC’s 2018 National Agility Championship, Preferred National Agility Championship, and Agility Invitational. Additionally, invitees were selected from AKC’s 2018 World Agility Team, AKC European Open Team, AKC European Open Junior Team, and the Westminster Kennel Club 2019 finalists.
Naci Berkoz and Annie the Border Collie
Home: Reseda, California
Dog’s Breed: Border Collie
Dog’s Age: 3
Jump Height: 16″
Naci Berkoz and his Border Collie, Annie, won the 16″ height at the 2019 National Agility Championship. After three clean runs earlier in the weekend, the duo finished finals with a time of 30.01 seconds. Annie came in second at the 118 NAC in 2018, so victory this year was extra special. The team hopes to continue their clean streak at the APC.
Andrea Samuels and Gabby the Papillon
Home: Westbury, New York
Dog’s Breed: Papillon
Dog’s Age: 3
Jump Height: 8″
Andrea Samuels’ winning streak started far before her Papillon, Gabby. She has won the NAC four times with Gabby’s father, grandmother, and half-sister. After Gabby won the 8″ height at the 2019 NAC with a time of 34.25 seconds, Samuels is overjoyed to compete with her again at the Agility Premier Cup.
“Gabby and I are so excited to be invited to this inaugural event,” Samuels says. “Coming off a win at the AKC Nationals in Tulsa and also winning Westminster in February, Gabby’s future is bright. She is a fierce competitor. She absolutely loves agility and I absolutely have a blast running with her.”
Kim Barton and Logan the All-American Dog
Home: Johnstown, Ohio
Dog’s Breed: All-American
Dog’s Age: 11
Jump Height: 8″
Kim Barton and her All-American Dog, Logan, won the 4″ preferred division at NAC with a time of 38.49 seconds. Logan is Barton’s first agility dog, and the two have been preferred champions once before, in 2017. “For her to still go to the line with me every run is a blessing,” Barton says about her senior dog. “She’s showing me she’s not ready to slow down.”
The duo will compete in the 8″ division at the APC.
Attend the AKC Agility Premier Cup
The exciting sport of canine agility owes its heritage to the equestrian world. Now, for the first time, AKC teams up with the presenters of the Longines Masters horse show to bring the AKC Agility Premier Cup presented by EEM to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, April 25. Get tickets to see America’s best canine athletes jump, weave, and race for top honors at this premier event. Kids 14 and under are admitted free.