Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cynosport World Games 2007 in Scottsdale Arizona!!

Guess what is our result? Being Representatives from Singapore for the 1st time, both Dexter and Max, Debra and Keesha are in the Grand Prix Dog Agility World Championship Semi-finals!!!! Our dogs beat a lot of competitive competitors from throughout the continent United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Spain, Hong Kong and Japan. Dexter & Max is ranked Top 60 in this World Games !!! SUPER COOL! While Debra and Keesha ranked 80 in her catagory, not bad for an Aussie against the best Border Collies. As for Team Singapaw in the Three Dog Masters Team with our Guatamela partner we are ranked 185 in team agility out of more than 205 world teams. (Not bad for a newly formed team eh?)

This year the results from Asia Reps are astonishing. Japan is top 5 in the 22' class from the Grand Prix Dog Agility World Championship Final. Japan has been a seasoned competitor in USDAA Cynosport World Games since 2001. Singapore is in 59th ranking in the Grand Prix Dog Agility World Championship Semi-finals. This is our maiden trip and we are already in the Semi-finals. It's our hope that one day, Singapore will among the Top 20 in the World Rankings.

We were very happy to have a chance to run in the main arena of the Cynosport World Games Championship. To see our Singapore National Flag represented and flying high among the represented countries, it's a great honour to witness that. Incidentally this happens to be Singapore FIRST respesentative in the World of Dog Agility Championships and we are very privileged to be the one who make history with this note.

Cynosport World Games 2007 was a very well organised World Championship Events. Some of the events were Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championships, Dog Agility Masters International Three-Dog Team Championship, US$10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase, Junior Handler Titling & Spotlight, Grand Prix Classic, Steeplechase Classic, Veterans All Around & Showcase, Performance Program Championships, SplashDogs & Super Vertical Finals, World Flying Disc, World Flyball Finals and activities & demo which includes Scottsdale Police K-9 Unit Demo, Freestyle Dancing, Herding, Doggie Do-Right, Course-a-Lure & Dock Jumping.

This was the first time we entered a 5 straight days long of Agility Competitions. Everyday we had to get to West World as early as 7am, walk through two courses and wait for our turn to run. You might not leave for the day till late evening. Having to walk-thru two courses early in the morning is no joke. And you get to run one in the late morning and the other in the late evening.

I must salute our dogs, after flying approximately 18 hours into a foreign country and another additional 6 hrs of road trip to Arizona to get to do Agility and actually performing beyond our expectations is exceptional. They were a natural when they see the agility equipments. OMG.....agility is really there first love, both eyes lid immediately, ready for action. Our first event for the week was the Grand Prix Classic, The dogs did brilliantly to our expectations, no bar dropping, no weavepoles errors, no table errors ....... it was the killer See-saw, both fly-off like Superdogs in mid air when they hit the end of the contact! The contact obstacles are what our dogs were not very familiar with ...... 12 foot Dogwalk, 9 foot A-frame and 12 foot See-saw. But once we get ourselves familiarize with these contact obstacles, our timing should improve. In fact we got lucky to try all 6 rings over the last 5 days with different looking type of equipments in its shapes and sizes but our dogs knew they were agility equipments. It was a great exposure for them.

In our Three-Dog Masters Team, we need to compete in Team Snooker, Team Gamblers, Team Jumpers, Team Standard and if we Q for the final, it will be Team Relay. Our HongKong counterparts said very amazed that we dare to enter for Team Snooker and Team Gamblers even though we dont know the games that well or has never played in any competitions. Max cleared the Snooker and Gamblers. Had a Clean Run in Team Standard, two faults on Team Jumpers. Keesha cleared Gamblers, got whistle-off in Snooker, one fault in Team Standard and two faults on Jumpers. Our 3-Dog Team partner Juan, got whistle-off in Snooker & Gamblers, Team Standard & Jumpers NQ. Our achievements here was not to fault on drop bar, weavepoles and NQ. Instead we are faulted in See-Saw, A Frame where our dogs are not too familiar with this type of Actual Standard Contact Equipments used in USDAA, AKC, NADAC etc compared to the ones we have in the Singapore Kennel Club.

During our Grand Prix Dog Agility Championship Quarter final, we were competing shoulder to shoulder with Top Agility Trainers in the likes of Susan Garrett, Linda Menkenburg, Robert Michalski, Terri Arnold, Stuart Mah, Patti Mah, Marcus Topp, Nancy Gyes, Elicia Calhoun, Ken Fairchild etc It's pressurising to do our best, and we did. However the greatest competitor is Ourselves, and we must always strive to better ourselves.

We have met with many Great People here. people who has help us, support us, advise us and encouraged us. We want to thank Olga Chalko, Tracy England, Alicia Nicholas, Gwen's Owners(Susan and Hubby), Vincent John, Peter Chan, Alan Tay, Karen Lau, Linda Menkenburg, Juan , Robert Michalski, Kenneth Tatsch, Gordan, Sandra, Mary Mascheck, Hisato Tanabe, Mika, Gary Wilkes and Mrs Wilkes, Stuart and Patti Mah, Hannah of SIA LAX, doghousearts.com(for our dog's photos).

Lastly, we want to thank all who has make this International Dream possible .... Toshiyuki Oba, Luke Schneider, Julie Daniels, Bud Houston, Gina O'keefe and last be not least Rudy and Eve Lau. Without you, our international quest might just be a dream cloud.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cynosport World Games 2007 !!!

Hello again from Scottsdale, Arizona !!!!

Singapore Flag on the right flying high in the Cynosport World Games 2007!

Some participants and Spectators in Ring 2 where Grand Prix Semi Finals were held today (Debra and Keesha in the middle preparing for their turn). Only Semi Finalists gets the blue shirt which money cannot buy. "Priceless!"

Apologies if we have not update our trip earlier, we were so busy competing and videoing and taking pics waiting for our turns and shopping that we got so exhausted from the heat and all that we were like a pair of tired pigeons who cannot fly anymore...

But fly we did! Both Keesha and Max "Q ed!" for the Semi Finals from the Grand Prix Dog Agility Quarterfinals Masters out of more than 300 dogs competing 50% qualified and we are in the 50%! How cool was that! Our dogs did great over the continous 4 days of non stop competitions! It was a fantastic affair competing side by side with the USA's greatest dog agility trainers. Some famous trainers were in our group so we got to see some great and not so great runs! But hey we are all human everyone makes mistakes. But their dogs were the fastest dogs we see in the planet and it is a skill needed to handle such dogs and that is the skills we are using too!

Max has a slight limp a few weeks before the trip cause of the practise runs. We got a Canine Messager to get him a Sports Massage to relive his aches and made sure he was in tip top condition before he fly.

We have met our Hong Kong and Japanese counterparts(Most Japs already qualified for the Semi finals in Japan). We have also met overseas Singaporeans, Karen and Alan who have schools in Canada and Colorado respectively.

Our teammate for the Three Dog Masters Team Agility is Juan(john) and Pluma from Guatamela, they were also the first time here and the only one representing Guatemela. I have a lot to say on how we did but it is too much to say today. Will try to update tomorrow. As we will be competing in the Steeplechase Classics.

Our Walk throughs are 2 courses a day in different rings which were in the early mornings at 7am and we sometimes had to wait hours before it was our turn to run, some even at the end of the day! Worst was my Grand Prix Quarterfinals and Dexter's Semifinals was in the mid afternoon where the Sun was the Hottest!!! Without a good Sunblock and Sunglasses and a hat we will definately suffer under these scorching heat! Worst than Singapore where at least there was humidity!

Good News is Dexter and Max scored a Clean Run in their Semifinal Run in the Main Ring and boy it was a fantastic run! Though there are faster dogs there who were designed for this sport the percentage taken may be small for the Grand Prix Finals but we are so proud of our dogs for doing so well here being their first time and all! I think they are also having a great time meeting other dogs and people and the system here are so well organised, people here knew what to do without any confusion and all the competitors have well behaved dogs. I did not see nor heard of any dog fights with so many dogs that were in such close proximity.

We are loving every minute here! Everyone here is talking and doing Agility! We feel very privileged to be here many thanks to our sponsors PUPS and Chemelco Enterprises!

We watched and videoed the Performance National Finals yesterday evening. Tonight is the Steeplechase Finals and Performance Speed Jumping but we are giving that a miss. Tomorrow at 11am is the Grand Prix finals which we would not want to miss cause I heard that it is usually over crowded and there may be no seats left if we are not there early. But we will only be able to watch it right after our Steeplechase Classic Runs which starts at 8.35am. Bugger.

Signing off for now from Scottsdale, Arizona!

USDAAsg, Agility Dogs for Any Flavour!

USDAAsg, Agility Dogs for Any Flavour!
USDAA Singapore