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The 2021 AKC Agility Premier Cup took place on May 15 in Ocala, Florida, and highlights the top AKC agility competitors in the country. The high-energy event consists of three rounds of competition featuring the best canine athletes in the sport.

More than 90 dogs and their handlers competed for the championship title in the jump heights of 8”, 12”, 16”, 20”, and 24”. Between the five jump height winners, $10,000 is awarded with $500 given o the Reserve Winner, and $1,500 given to the Winner from the finals round.

The fast-paced event aired on ESPN May 25, where winners were announced. Check out all five AKC Agility Premier Cup winners.

8″ Winner: Kit Kat the Papillon

Registered Name: GCHS CH MACH3 Aerilee’s Kitto Katsu MXC MJC OF BCAT CGC TKN

Owner/Handler: Lindsey Barrows

From: Greenbrier, TN

Breed: Papillon

Age: 5

Time: 40.52 seconds

Kit Kat is Lindsey’s second Agility dog. “Along with excelling in Agility, Kit Kat represents her breed well by being very accomplished in the conformation ring,” Lindsey says. “She has been completely owner-handled to her Grand Champion Silver title and is well on her way achieving gold. She also loves to run in FastCAT events and training in Scent Work.”

“Kit Kat loves everything about Agility, except the table, so she is really glad to be able to come to this event where she doesn’t have to slow down for that!”

12″ Winner: Bliss the Poodle

Registered Name: NAC MACH4 Jib’s Just Happy To Be Here MXC PAD MJB2 (Bliss)

Owner/Handler: Cassandra Schmidt

From: Lees Summit, MO

Breed: Miniature Poodle

Age: 10

Time: 34.01 seconds

Bliss is proof that age is just a number. “Although she will be eleven years old this summer, Bliss doesn’t show any signs of slowing down,” Cassandra says.

The Miniature Poodle’s career in agility has included National Championships in several agility organizations including the 2014 AKC National Championship. She has also represented the USA on three Agility World Championship teams and seven European Open Championship teams. Bliss lives in with her owners Cassie and David and two Poodle sisters: True and Glow.

16″ Winner: Swift the Shetland Sheepdog

Registered Name: CH MACH2 Jandale Making Sparks Fly RN MXG MJG MXF T2B

Owner/Handler: Jennifer Crank

From: Pickerington, OH

Breed: Shetland Sheepdog

Age: 9

Time: 34.33 seconds

Jennifer Crank and Swift have a long history of Agility achievements. For example. at the 2018 FCI World Agility Championship, competing for the USA on the AKC World Team for the sixth time, Jennifer and Swift earned silver.

Jennifer loves that the AKC Agility Premier Cup is tied to equestrian sports.

“I know there’s a lot of people out there that want to get into horses and their parents just don’t have the means or the time to pay for that,” Jennifer says. “Horses are a huge drain financially and Agility kind of gives you a lot of that same aspect of working with animals, the training, the having the responsibility, and the competitiveness.”

Swift is named after the musical artist, Taylor Swift and his nickname is the “Blue Blur”.

20″ Winner: Fargo the Border Collie

Registered Name: MACH2 Holly’s Hope Goes Far MXG PAD MJG PJD MFS TQX T2B2

Owner/Handler: Kathy Wells

From: Southfield, MI

Breed: Border Collie

Age: 8

Time: 35.73 seconds

Fargo and Kathy have many accomplishments in the Agility world and even earned a spot on Team USA in the 2019 World Agility Open Championships,

“Fargo is an extraordinary dog, he is a once in a lifetime dog,” Kathy says.

24″ Winner: Cephus the Border Collie

Registered Name: MACH2 Tenspeeds Whiskey Bent And Hellbound MXG MJG MFS TQX T2B (Cephus)

Owner/Handler: Sarah LeBlanc

From: Xenia, OH

Breed: Border Collie

Age: 8

Time: 36.52 seconds

Cephus competes in AKC and USDAA Agility and is always among the fastest 24” Border Collies in the country. He comes from a line of active dogs involved in sports, and hiis parents were both FEMA Search & Rescue dogs. When he’s competing in Agility, Cephus is a professional dog model.

Related article: Get Started in Dog Agility at Home
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