2012 International Federation of Cynological Sports World Agility Championships
By Brenna Fender, photo courtest of Melissa Sheehan
The International Federation of Cynological Sports (IFCS) sixth World Agility Championships (WAC) were held for the first time in the USA on May 11-13, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas with a pre-event local qualifier being held on May 10. The United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) hosted nine other countries from all over the world at this event. Teams competed on international-style courses in front of stands packed with spectators. The participant countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the United States) cheered loudly for their team mates but also showed appreciation for impressive skill from any homeland, and supported those with great runs gone wrong. In a disappointing turn, Team Russia, who has won the medal count the last two WACs, was unable to attend due to a problem flying their dogs out of the country.
Team USA and Team Canada were the leaders in the medal count. USA was the overall winner, bringing home 36 medals (including individual and all-around awards as well as the team championship), with Canada winning 24 total. (For placement results and medal counts, visit https://usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=2086). Fourteen of Team USA’s medals were gold, as were eight of Team Canada’s. “Team USA really gelled once we all arrived in Texas and I think that showed with our performance,” says US team manager Dave Grubel.
Team Australia and Team New Zealand came to the US without their dogs because quarantine laws make the return trip to their countries impractical. Dogs from the host country (the US) were donated to these teams so that the competitors could experience, enjoy, and learn from international competition. The “host dog parents” really enjoyed the chance to be involved in the event as well. Marla Friedler-Cooper, who’s Border Collie, Spritz, was part of Team Australia, says, “It was an incredible experience. We got to be on a World Team and experienced all the excitement that goes along with that. Spritz and I will always feel like we are part of Team Australia!”
The closing ceremony on Sunday afternoon included the passing of the IFCS flag to Wim Bekendam of The Netherlands, where the 2014 IFCS World Agility Championships will be held. Also during the ceremony, USDAA and IFCS President Kenneth Tatsch announced the new IFCS Continental Championships: the Agility Championships of the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, that will take place next year.
The event was very exciting and well-run, with minimal downtime and touching medal ceremonies. Competitors and spectators seemed to have a great time. Grubel says, “The event itself was run extremely well. I cannot give enough kudos to the event staff and management.”
For additional event coverage, visit USDAA’s youtube channel at youtube.usdaa.com for videos of runs and interviews with competitors from several different countries. For a limited time, on-demand videos of the event are available for purchase at cynosport.tv. Courses and photos from the event can be found at usdaa.com/news.cfm.
Congratulations to Team USA!
Toy (12") Jump Height
Dana Pike Chamberlain and Tangle (All Breed)
Daneen Fox and Masher (Papillon)
Andy Mueller and Crackers (Jack Russell Terrier)
Mini (16") Jump Height
Kevin Brown and Hunter (Shetland Sheepdog)
Maureen Waldron and Mickle (Shetland Sheepdog)
Jean Lavalley and Cheer (Shetland Sheepdog)
Midi (22") Jump Height
Stuart Mah and Ares (Border Collie)
Jeannette Hutchison and Rumble (Border Collie)
Dudley Fontaine and Sweet (Border Collie)
Maxi (26") Jump Height
Dudley Fontaine and Maverick (Border Collie)
Mia Grant and Vic (Border Collie)
Terry Smorch and Presto (Border Collie)