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Dogs from 43 States and Canada Vie for National Agility Champion Titles!

Nearly 1,000 of the top agility dogs and handlers in the nation will be vying for the title of American Kennel Club® (AKC®) National Agility Champion in their height classes on March 26-28, 2010 at the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex at Expo Square. The prestigious AKC National Agility Championship sponsored by LubriSyn CA, will feature the top agility teams in the country soaring over jumps, whipping through weave poles and climbing seesaws and A-frames.

“We are pleased to return to Tulsa with the AKC National Agility Championship,” said AKC Director of Agility Andy Hartman. “The crowd is always excited to watch the dogs and you can feel the excitement in the air from the entrants and spectators as the most talented athletes in the canine world face off to determine which are the best agility dogs in the country.”

The AKC National Agility Championship is a competition that requires participants to garner a certain number of points and qualifying rounds in local shows the preceding year to become eligible to participate. This year’s contest includes contenders from 43 states and Canada. More than 80 breeds, from the speedy Australian Shepherd and Border Collie to the tiny Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier will compete. Several rare breeds are also entered, including the Icelandic Sheepdog, Norwegian Buhund and Pyrenean Shepherd.

“Agility is not only fun to watch, it’s fun for any dog and owner interested in competing,” added Hartman. “There are six jump heights for all the different breeds of dogs to compete for top honors: from the largest Great Dane to the smallest Chihuahua.”

Competition will begin on Friday, March 26th with the AKC State Team Tournament, an event designed to promote teamwork, state/regional camaraderie and sportsmanship in a fun and festive way. While their neighbors cheer them on, handlers and dogs will run two different courses. The scores of the top four dogs in each state team will be combined to determine the winning state. 

The National Agility Championship itself will consist of five rounds to be completed over Saturday and Sunday. All dogs will compete in the first three rounds. Rounds four and five will be limited to the highest-scoring performers. After round five, the top dog in each regular jump height – 8″, 12″, 16″, 20″, 24″ and 26″ – will win the title of National Agility Champion of 2010.

In addition, the first Preferred National Agility Championship will be added to this year’s event. The top dog in each preferred jump height – 4″, 8″, 12″, 16″ and 20″ will win the title Preferred National Agility Champion of 2010. Dogs entered in the preferred competition jump at a lower height and have more time to complete the course than in the regular agility competition.

Competition will take place on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is FREE and the event is open to the public.

Agility is the AKC’s fastest growing sport, with over 2,100 events held by local clubs across the country each year. This exciting, athletic event requires conditioning, concentration, training and teamwork. Dog and handlers must negotiate a timed obstacle course, off-leash, striving for a perfect score of 100. Missed obstacles, knocked jumps or other mistakes result in penalties deducted from the total score.

More information on the AKC National Agility Championship.