Monday, April 27, 2009

My recent Judging trip to Bacolod City, Philippines!

5th National PANAAD Dog Agility Competition was a Negros Occidental Yearly
PANAAD festival event. During the week long festival, Dog Agility was selected
to be staged as a Grand Event at Center Stage. It's was held in the PANAAD
Stadium, on April 22, 2009.

Bacolod City is a very pretty and scenic city in Negros Occidental. Bacolod City
supply more than 51% of the Sugar Cane to the whole of Philippines. On our way
from Bacolod-Silay City International Airport, we drove through the country-side
to the city, it was covered with Sugar Cane plantations.

In the Spanish House with Edward and Anna

At the Ruins! Beautiful Place! Big BIG Gardens!

Dexter, Nikko and Anna (Notice Nikko wearing our Singapore World Team Shirt) Thanks for your support Nikko!
At Tito Donnie's NFFAI. Many Australian Zoos are supporting their cause to save the forest and its animal. Kudos to Tito Donnie and his people!

Before the event, we were treated like tourist and our great host Anna, Edward
and Nikko brought us to understand the history of Bacolod by visiting the
Spanish House and the Ruins. Tito Donnie and Lynette took us to Donnie's Negros
Forest and Agricultural Foundation Inc an environmental rescue zoo that saved
the many wildlife birds and animals from the forest and created a breeding
programme for these animals before they became extinct. At night we were taken
to their clubhouse where we had dinner and met their many supportive members.
Members came from all walks of life from Farmers to Hotel CEOs and Artists to
dog trainers. Dentists and vets and hardware shop owners. We were introduce to
Bacolod's specialty the Chicken Inasal from Chicken Hause. BBQed Chicken Dipped
in vinegar, soy sauce and lime added with white rice. Simple and good! Theses
were great people with very sweet dogs. The Belgium Malinois seem to be the most
popular big breeds there. Very few Border Collies but the Davao people brought
their Beagles, Minpins, Cocker Spaniel and Golden Ret. And these dogs did great
in Agility. First time we see such fast Beagles and Minpins doing Agility!

This Year beside the crowd entreating Dog Agility Competition, they are holding
their first ever Dog Frisbee Competition in Negros! The participants are from
Manila, Davao, Gen. Santos, Zamboanga, Cebu and Negros Occidental. There was a
great variety of dog breeds; Belgian Malinois, Border Collie, Cocker Spaniels,
Shetland Sheepdogs, Jack Russell Terriers, Jack Russell Parsons, Boxer, Bulldog,
Minpins, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Belgian Tervurens,
Pit bull etc And the youngest competitor, Kobe is a 12 year old boy from Davao.

Beside their main event of Dog Agility & Frisbee Competition, they too have a go
at various extreme sports. The rule of the game is the winner takes all. The
extreme sports are the High Jump, Wall Scaling, and Super Weaves Challenge(36
poles). The winner of the high jump was a tie between 2 Malinois, Jumping at
1.75 metres. The Super Weaves Challenge won by a Jack Russell Terrier at 6
second. The Wall Scaling was called off due to rain.

The 5th PANAAD National Dog Agility Competition was organized by K9 Obedience
Club, Province of Negros Occidental and Pro Plan. On Tuesday, dated April 21, I
was invited to Judge in the K9 Obedience Club for Starters Jumpers, Starter
Snooker and the Extreme Sports. We have about 24 participants in the Starter
Jumpers Class. The Standard of Agility, the handling skills and their level of
competitiveness, has impressed deeply, especially the teams from Davao, Gen.
Santos and Zamboanga. Their dog's line and their precise handling skills put
them in the pole positions. The competitions are tight, as many good teams put
in strong performances.

Starter Snooker are still new to many in the Philippines. However many teams
have a go at this strategic game. I am fairly surprise that many teams have put
in a strong performances. The winning teams complete the Snooker Class with high

On the actual day of the 5th PANAAD National Dog Agility Competitions, we have
both the Mini and Maxi Dog Agility Classes. And of course, their first ever Dog
Frisbee Competition. The PANAAD Stadium was filled with people wanting to catch
and be entertained by the best trained dogs in the Philippines. We have about 2
thousands spectators. We kick start the Maxi-Agility Class at about 4pm.

Next is the first ever Dog Frisbee Competitions. We have the single disc event.
Right after the Dog Frisbee event, we have the Mini-Agility Class.

The Standard Agility Course that I've designed provided the following challenges
for the team. The Course opens with a tire jump straight on to the teeter. One
or two teams have fly-off here. Without good performance on teeter, dogs will
over run and go on the Dogwalk that was a off-course trap. Having to perform a
pin-wheel with tunnel, bring the dog onto the dogwalk. At the down contact,
handlers require to push the dogs to the left into another tunnel and a good
entry into the weavepoles. A good number of teams were having difficulty to get
their dogs into the tunnel on the right side. Next is the chute and straight on
to the pause table for 5 seconds count. After the 5 seconds count, the next was
the A-Frame and transit to another pin-wheel this time on the anti-clockwise
direction. This pin-wheel will bring you to another trap obstacle the tunnel,
where handlers need to drive their dogs straight to the broadjump and a last
sprint to a double jump and the end line. The trap tunnel seems to inviting to
some teams, where their dogs was suck into the tunnels and causing them a wrong
course or a standard fault for the Starters Class. All-in-all a very strong
performances by the teams and given the pressure and the overwhelming crowds,
some team couldn't perform, while the others put in a good shows to wow the
immersing crowds.

After a highly competitive competition, we were asked to go back to refresh
ourselves and we were treated to a Prize Presentation & Celebrations Dinner at a
very special bar opened by an expat who also mentioned about his bar at the
Harbourfront in Singapore. We all have a great time interacting, sharing
laughters and disappointments that they had in this event. All winners got their
trophy and prize money and we all have a great time partying to the wee hours.

Its was a very impressionable trip for us, seeing and witnessing ourselves what
Dog Agility Enthusiasts working together to create a strong family bond between
dogs and handlers and above all, having so much great fun with their lovely
trained dogs.

We would like to thank the dog agility people of the Philippines and the great
people we met there in Bacolod! We look forward to your continued enthusiasm for
the dog sport of Agility

We will be happy to go back to Judge if we are invited again by these cool
people from the Philippines.

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USDAAsg, Agility Dogs for Any Flavour!

USDAAsg, Agility Dogs for Any Flavour!
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