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Kerries at the AKC National Agility Championships

December 2, 3 & 4, 2003

As you all know, for the first time in the 8 years that the AKC has been holding their yearly National Agility Championships, 3 Kerries qualified for this event. These were
Keriland’s Talk About Town MX MXJ (Gabby) with Janet Beebythe #1 Agility Kerry for 2002
Blue Bay’s Wind Dancer MX MXJ (Dancer) with Brenda Vogelthe # 2 Agility Kerry for 2002
And my Tantara’s Honky Tonk Girl CDX MX MXJ (Tonka)the # 3 Agility Kerry for 2002.

Sadly Brenda Vogel could not attend – and was greatly missed.

What an event it turned out to be for the Kerries!!

Tuesday, December 2
Saw the State Tournament, where the dogs compete under the International Rules. Our 2 Kerries could not compete for official individual standings because both 18½” Gabby and 17½” Tonka would have had to run in the 26” jump height class. The dogs were allowed to compete in their AKC height classes (Gabby in the 20” class and Tonka in the 16”) for their individual State Teams, Gabby for Washington State and Tonka, for Ontario (Canada) as part of the Central States Team.

Gabby ran clean in both standard and Jumpers with Weaves classes but was just a little over time for a total of 5.17 faults. She placed 15/35 on the Washington team and 34/70 in the 20” class.

Tonka had a refusal (my fault!!) and was overtime for a total of 20.98 faults. She placed 14/29 in the Central States Team and 29/64 in the 16” class.

Both Gabby’s and Tonka’s runs were considered qualifying!!

The day ended by Janet and Gabby being honored at the Agility Nationals Banquet as the #1 Kerry for 2002 (greatest number of double Q’s and Mach points accumulated in the year 2002).

Wednesday, December 3
This marked the beginning of the National Championships. There were 2 runs for each dog/handler team – the Standard course and JWW. This was the red-letter day for the Kerries!!! Both Gabby’s and Tonka’s runs were clean, earning perfect scores and a Double Q each!! Both achieved good standing in their individual jump heights.

Thursday, December 4
Only one regular round was scheduled for the day, to be followed by the semifinals and finals, reserved for the top 10 or 11 dogs in each jump height.

Tonka ran the hybrid round (a combination of Standard and JWW) early in the day. To my great surprise and delight we were clean and a fraction under the Standard course time to add another score of 100 for a Championship total of 300, which placed her 27th of the 104 competing in the 16” class.

Janet was less lucky. A few minutes before her expected run, the teeter-totter broke and Janet had to wait for over ½ an hour. She and Gabby had a lovely run, with excellent time. Unfortunately Gabby made a wrong weave entrance, which nullified it. So the total Kerry performance was 9 out of 10 qualifying runs and one Double Q each. Gabby picked up quite a few MACH points, Tonka a few. I am still elated and so proud of our Kerries.

I am certain I can speak for both of us, that we were extremely proud to represent the Kerry Blue Terriers in this prestigious event. For me, it was the experience of a lifetime. I was very happy to finally meet Janet and Gabby and to have the privilege to see them compete.

I would also like to express thanks to the Northern California Kerry Blue Terrier Club, whose members were present in force to help in the rings and to cheer us on. It was great to meet so many new friends.

Eve Fishell
Tantara Kerry Blue Terriers


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