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The American Kennel Club® is pleased to announce that two members of the AKC/USA Agility World Team have won Individual Gold Medals in their respective jump heights at the 2008 FCI Agility World Championships. Marcus Topps of Garland, TX and his Border Collie MACH2 Peak’s Juice (“Juice”) triumphed in the Large Dog Individual competition while Marcy Mantell of Foster City, CA and her Shetland Sheepdog MACH Plail’s Few And Far Between, CDX PT MXF (“Wave”) came away with the top prize in the Small Dog Individual competition.

Held September 26-28 in Helsinki, Finland, the Agility World Championships was attended by more than 360 dog and handler pairs from over 30 countries. The AKC/USA Team sent 13 competitors to Finland, comprising Small, Medium and Large Dog teams. Over the three days, AKC/USA team members completed two team runs and two individual runs.

Topps and “Juice” completed four clear rounds over the competition period and had the fastest time, vaulting from fourth to first place after their last run. Mantell and “Wave” moved from eighth to first place after turning in a 30.93-second final run.

“We are thrilled with the victories of Marcus, Juice, Marcy and Wave at the recent Agility World Championship,” said AKC Agility Director Andy Hartman. “Their years of hard work and dedication to the sport have definitely paid off. We’d also like to congratulate the rest of the determined and seasoned team members that competed in Finland. And of course, this successful trip would not have been possible without the support of I Love Dogs, Inc. We thank them for their help in everything from tryouts to travel home.”

After a parade of countries, Topps and Mantell were presented with medals while the National Anthem played. As winners of Individual Gold Medals, the two will have a guaranteed spot in the 2009 FCI Agility World Championships and a chance to defend their titles next September in Dornbirn, Austria.