— Nation's Top Agility Team Also to Compete at Crufts International Agility Competition —
The American Kennel Club is proud to announce that four U.S. dog and handler teams will be traveling to England for the Kennel Club's prestigious Crufts Obedience World Cup Competition on Sunday, March 11th, 2007. In addition to the obedience competitors, one team will represent the U.S. at the Agility competition to be held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England on Saturday, March 10th 2007.
“It's an honor for the United States to be represented at Crufts,” said Curt Curtis, AVP of AKC Companion Events. “It takes a lot of hard work and determination to make it this far and I'm confident that our teams will make us proud. We wish them the best of luck.”
Three of the teams are scheduled to compete in the Obedience World Cup while the fourth team will serve as an alternate. The teams were chosen from among the top Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) dogs in the country. The 2006 Crufts event had an entry total of 24,640 dogs from 178 different breeds and 32 different countries. Those numbers placed the event in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest dog show in the world.
The Obedience test will represent a mixture of exercises taken from The Kennel Club (UK) and AKC Obedience competitions, as well as the FCI World Obedience Championships.
The AKC Obedience team competitors are as follows:
- Fred Hulme of Chester, WV
OTCH Shoreland's Thrill Chaser UDX15 – Golden Retriever
- Dave Gannon of Mineola, TX
OTCH Breakwater Ice Skater UDX28 JH – Golden Retriever
- Linda McHugh of Danvers, MA
OTCH Heelalong Splittin Image UDX13 – Border Collie
- Judith Wilson of River Falls, WI
OTCH Wirlwind Flying Wedge UDX11 HASds HSBs HIAs – Border Collie
The AKC Agility team consists of Marcus Topps of Garland, TX and his Border Collie MACH Peak's Juice. Topps and Juice have placed second two times at the AKC National Agility Championship and had the honor of representing the United States at the World Agility Championship in Basel, Switzerland in October 2006. Agility, AKC's fastest-growing canine sport, allows dogs to demonstrate their agile nature and versatility by overcoming a challenging course of obstacles, such as weave poles, tunnels, jumps and seesaws.