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More than 200 dogs and 40 different teams from across the country competed in the inaugural pilot program for the AKC Agility League. Over the course of 12 weeks, teams ran six different courses from their respective club. Captains submitted scores from qualified judges, and the rankings for both teams and individual dogs in each jump height were released to see who came out on top.

“The Agility League’s first season was a success. The pilot groups reported having a great time working together as a team and trying out the new courses,” says Agility League Program Manager Penny Leigh. “We want to thank the groups that participated in the pilot with such enthusiasm and gave us such valuable feedback. We look forward to our fall season and working with more teams on this fun program.”

More than 1,000 dogs and more than 160 teams are set to compete in the fall season of the Agility League, making for even stiffer competition moving forward.

Courtesy of Mark Solinger

Spring 2022 Agility League Team Winner

The top winning national team is The Smart Dogs, sponsored by One Smart Dog Training Center in Selville, Ohio, with an average time of 30.66 seconds and an average team score of 6.26. Team captain Mark Solinger competed with his Border Collies, Jumpstart’s Scarlet And Gray CD BN RN FDC OA AXJ MFB BCAT CGCA CGCU TKN ATT VHMA VHMP, and AGCH MACH6 Rav’Nleigh’s Knee Deep In The Hoopla CD BN RI FDC MXS2 PDS MJC2 PJD PJDP MFB2 TQX T2B6 DCAT CGCA CGCU TKA.

“I think much of our success came from the fact that we are very good friends,” Solinger says. “Each of our dogs loves the game of agility. We were always there for each other, even if we had to switch nights, times, or whatever; we made it work.”

Other Smart Dog team members are:

  • AGCH MACH4 Domino’s Insurgent Of Wolfcreek RN MXB2 PDS MJG2 PJS MFG TQX T2B5 CGC TKN, a Papillon handled by Leslie Myers
  • Panacea Something Just Like This Of Wolfcreek RN MX AXJ MFB CGC TKN, a Vizsla handled by Leslie Myers
  • Trifecta’s Grateful It’s Not A Race But A Journey MX MXJ MJB CGC TKI, a Golden Retriever handled by Leslie Garofalo

Reserve Champion Team Winner

The Reserve Champion team is Half Moon Bay Mavericks, sponsored by Half Moon Bay Dog Sports of Half Moon Bay, California, with an average time of 31.73 seconds and an average team score of 6.09. Team captain Marcy Mantell competed with Shetland Sheepdog Ululallaluna Space Jam AX AXJ XF.

Other Half Moon Bay Mavericks members are:

AKC Agility League Regional Team Champions

  • Alaska – 40 Below – Let’s Go!, sponsor Tanana Valley Kennel Club
  • Hawaii – ‘lli’o HA’A, sponsor Hawaiian Agility Handlers Association
  • New England – AK9C All Stars, sponsor American K9 Country (NH)
  • Mid-Atlantic – Pinelands Get Up & Groove, sponsor Pinelands Dog Training Center (NJ)
  • Southeast – WestRover’s Q Crew, sponsor WestRover Agility School (AL)
  • South Central – Twisted Sisters, sponsor Kate’s Place (OK)
  • North Central – The Smart Dogs, sponsor One Smart Dog (OH)
  • Rock Mountain – Lookout for Colorado!, sponsor Lookout Agility (CO)
  • Western – Half Moon Bay Mavericks, sponsor Half Moon Bay Dog Sports (CA)
Border Collie jumping over agility jump.
Courtesy of Mark Solinger,

AKC Agility League Individual Winners

Placing first in their height divisions (8”, 12”, 16”, 20” and 24” respectively) were:

8-Inch: 26.08 seconds. AGCH MACH4 Domino’s Insurgent Of Wolfcreek RN MXB2 PDS MJG2 PJS MFG TQX T2B5 CGC TKN, a Papillon handled by Leslie Myers (The Smart Dogs – OH)

12-Inch: 25.23 seconds. MACH Safranne’s Silver Sails Anchor Down MXB MJS PJD MFB T2B3 DJ CGC, a Poodle handled by Beth White (First in Flight – NC)

16-Inch: 23.24 seconds. Mayalu’s Daeira MX MXJ MXF, a Pumi handled by Christine Brew, Half Moon Bay Mavericks (CA)

20-Inch: 29.15 seconds. T/K Ikon OA OAJ , a Border Collie handled by Caitlin Ascher (Lookout for Colorado! – CO)

24-Inch: 30.34 seconds. Steely Dan AX AXJ, a Border Collie handled Liz Blasio (Lookout for Colorado! – CO)

24C: 29.53 seconds. CH MACH5 Elachies Ewe Can’T Mistake My Darkside MXS2 PAD MJB2 PJD DE DM HDM, a Border Collie handled by Amber McCune (AK9C All Stars – NH)

AKC Agility League Preferred Winners

Placing first in their height divisions (4”, 8”, 12”, 16” and 20” respectively) were:

4-Inch: 27.48 seconds. GCHB CH AGCH MACH5 Trinity’s Kailani Grace MXG2 PDS MJS2 PJS MFG TQX T2B5 FCAT CGC TKN, an American Eskimo Dog handled by Jennifer Crisman (WestRover’s Q Crew – AL)

8-Inch: 26.36 seconds. GCH CH MACH4 PACH2 Diavolino’s Il Re Leone RA MXC MJG2 MXP5 MXPS MJP9 MJPG PAX2 OF CGC, an Italian Greyhound handled by Jennifer Graves (Windy City Weavers – IL)

12-Inch: 27.56 seconds. CH Cinnabar Beyond Hi Gear MX MXJ XF T2B, a Shetland Sheepdog handled by Leslie Saito (‘lli’o HA’A – HI)

16-Inch: 23.91 seconds. Epic CD RN MX MXJ MJB XF, a Border Collie handled by Caitlin Ascher (Lookout! It Runs in the Family!! – CO)

20-Inch: 38.02 seconds. Fly’N Hi’s Win’N Vin Diesel Fast N Furious MX MXJ XF, a Golden Retriever handled by Lauren Sanchez-Susman (Lookout for Colorado! – CO)

What is the AKC Agility League?

The AKC Agility League adds a fun and exciting way for agility enthusiasts to train and compete on teams, giving a new aspect to what is an individual sport. The league provides an opportunity to compete safely in a recreational format on your home training field while sharing the experience with competitors around the country and earning regional and national rankings.

There are three 12-week seasons a year, and teams compete on six courses during the season — one per each two-week round. Teams compete on their home fields or local training school facilities, and scores are submitted to the AKC by the end of each two-week round, which is then calculated for rankings of both teams and individual dogs in each jump height and category.

National and regional rankings will be released at the end of each two-week round, and the top placers will receive awards at the end of each season.

Related article: Alaska Kennel Club Competes in AKC Agility League From Hundreds of Miles Away
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