Sixty of America’s top Agility dogs were invited to compete at the AKC Agility Premier Cup Presented by EEM on Thursday, April 25.
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.
The twelve invited dogs in each jump height ran two rounds. Based on those two rounds, the top six dogs from each jump height then went on to compete in finals.
Dogs competed in five jump heights: 8″, 12″, 16″, 20″, and 24″.
8″ Winner of the AKC Agility Premier Cup
Wren the Papillon, handled by Betsey Lynch of Delaware, Ohio.
At seven years old, Wren is a three-time AKC National Agility Champion, having won in consecutive years: 2016, 2017, and 2018. She also won the AKC Invitational in 2017 and the 8″ class at Westminster in 2016.
“Her small size belies her speed and determination!” says Lynch.
12″ Winner of the AKC Agility Premier Cup
Pixel the Miniature American Shepherd, handled by Ami Sheffield of Omaha, Nebraska.
When Pixel practicing agility, she spends time herding the cat, enjoying hikes with her siblings, playing frisbee, and swimming. Pixel has also participates in Flyball.
“Although Pixel is always ready to go go go…she loves snuggle time on the couch,” Sheffield says.
16″ Winner of the AKC Agility Premier Cup
P!nk is the 2018 AKC National Agility Champion in the 16″ class along with the 2018 and 2019 16″ Westminster Champion.
“She does everything she does at 100% including Agility, chasing squirrels, swimming, and playing frisbee,” Crank says. “She is named after the singer, P!nk, and one of her songs ‘Get This Party Started.'”
20″ Winner of the AKC Agility Premier Cup
Graphite the Border Collie, handled by Paulena Simpson of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
Eight-year-old Graphite was the youngest dog to ever win a USDAA National Championship. He is also a multiple USDAA National Champion, a multiple WAO National Champion a three-time top six AKC National Championship placer, the 2017 AKC Invitational 20″ Champion, a USDAA, EO World Team member, and a 2018 Bronze Medal WAO World Team member.
“It has been a dream come true being paired with this amazing dog who brings everything he has every time he competes,” says Simpson
24″ Winner of the AKC Agility Premier Cup
Harley the All-American dog, handled by Erin Stumler of Floyds Knobs, Indiana.
Ten-year-old Harley was adopted from a local shelter. Stumler lovingly calls her “Platypup.” She won the 24″ class at Westminster this year and placed second and third in the AKC National Agility Finals in 2017 and 2014 respectively.
“She is a cancer survivor and my once-in-a-lifetime dog,” Stumbler says. “I could not have found a more perfect partner to take me on so many adventures.”
Relive the Action
The AKC Agility Premier Cup event was judged by Daniel Wolfson, who also designed all three courses. Interested in seeing what the finals course looked like? Check out Jenn Crank and P!nk running in finals and winning first place in the 16″ jump height. Two of the other four winners train under Jenn.