Agility is the Formula One racing of the dog world. These dogs traverse a course of jumps, weave poles, tunnels, see saws, dog walks, and a-frames. Some handler/dog teams move so fast it is hard to comprehend how they manage to memorize the course given the limited time they get for the course walk through.
This is the fifth year for the AKC Agility Invitational and there are 432 dogs across 132 breeds entered. The thing I like most about agility is the happy atmosphere that permeates the event. While the competition is tough, there is camaraderie amongst the competitors that makes this event a lot of fun to watch.
The event begins on Friday with a F.A.S.T. class. This gets the competitors into their groove and sets the stage for the rest of the weekend’s festivities. On Saturday and Sunday the teams compete in a Standard course, two Jumpers with Weaves courses, and a Hybrid course. The teams with the top cumulative scores get to advance to the finals. Only one dog per breed is eligible for the finals of each jump height.
One of the 20 inch jump height finalists is a black Labrador Retriever – MACH2 Hirsch’s Gone With The Wind CD RN XF (“Scarlett”), owned by Elisa Hirsch and handled by Kate Moureaux. Kate is no stranger to the top echelons of agility trials. She is a two-time AKC National Agility Champion and three-time IFCS World Team member. The six year old Scarlett is also no stranger to the winner’s circle, finishing as the 2010’s #2 Agility Invitational Labrador in the country.
That winning combination proved to be unbeatable in the 20 inch jump height. Kate and Scarlett’s final run of 31.90 seconds was the fastest time of all the finalists and insured their victory at the 20 inch jump height.
Congratulations to all of the retrievers who performed so well at this prestigious event and a special congrats to Elissa, Kate, and Scarlett for bringing home the Gold!
Retriever Agility Stats
- 16 inch 7th Place – owner/handler Sue Barnett and her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Wagosh’s Sail Across The Sun RN MX MXJ MXF
- 20 inch 1st Place – owner Elisa Hirsch/handler Kate Moureaux and their Labrador Retriever MACH2 Hirsch’s Gone With The Wind CD RN XF
- 20 inch 2nd Place – owner/handler Teresa Rodney and her Flat Coated Retriever MACH3 Windfall’s Made To Run CD JH NF
- 20 inch 4th Place – owner/handler Terry Simons and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever MACH Foxgrove’s Don’T Call Me Jack JH
- 24 inch 8th Place – owner/handler Tracy Tennison and her Flat Coated Retriever CH MACH7 Shasta Belstar Magic Happens CDX RA J
- 24 inch 11th Place – owner/handler Mark Slevin and his Golden Retriever MACH8 Mystic Corvette Post My Bail NAP NJP OF