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by Brenna Fender



2011 Texas Agility Shoot-out

By Brenna Fender with photos by Emily Hurt

On August 13 and 14, 2011, Texan agility competitors enjoyed the Texas Agility Shoot-out, a unique, annual, non-sanctioned event designed to raise money for canine cancer research. All of the trial proceeds, along with funds raised through related projects, went to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Both the Ft.Worth Agility Sports Team (FAST) and the Gold Medal Dog Training Center joined together to host this event, which was held indoors at the W. R. Watt Arena. The hard-working trial committee was made up of Christy Farley, Chair, and Co-Chairs Pamela Bryant-Meeks of FAST, Linda Knowles of Gold Medal Agility, and Nikki Heep of FAST.

The event offered a variety of classes in the style of various agility organizations. Long Arm of the Law (AKC-style Standard) was judged by Gene Downing on Saturday and Pam Richcreek on Sunday. Jumpin’ Judge Roy Bean (CPE-style Jumpers) was judged by Ed Scharringhausen and then Kay Stimson. Run for the Border (NADAC-style Tunnelers) had Ed Scharringhausen and then Kay Stimson presiding. Texas Hold ‘Em (ASCA-style Gamblers) was offered on Saturday only with judge Jason Meeks and Wild Wild West (USDAA-style Snooker) was judged on Sunday by Pam Richcreek.

The Shoot-out was divided into three levels of competition. Deputy was for dogs competing at the beginner level in their regular agility venues. Sherriff was for dogs competing in the intermediate or advanced level. A “For Exhibition Only” division was also offered for handlers who did not want to be considered for placements in the overall event. Those dogs could jump at any height.

While the Shoot-out was designed to be a fundraiser, it also offered competitors the chance to see how they ranked among others in the state. Dogs that competed in all eight classes had their scores tabulated to determine an overall champion and reserve champion from each height class. Handlers that wanted to enter just some of the Shoot-out were allowed to do that too, but they were not included in the overall competition. Emily Hurt, whose 10-year-old dog was the overall champion in the 16" Sherriff division, says “The competition was very laid back, with training at the forefront of most folks’ minds. That being said, there were some awesome runs by both seasoned and green dogs alike in every round. I had a great time and can’t wait for next year!” USDAA vice president Andy Hartman also enjoyed the Shoot-out, where he and his wife Cindy were volunteer workers on Sunday. He says, “The atmosphere was fun, the camaraderie was great, and the cause was a very meaningful one; [Cindy and I] have lost several great dogs over the years to canine cancer. This event, and everyone involved in it, speaks volumes to the agility community in this area; you are a wonderful group!”

Even though the Shoot-out was a non-sanctioned (and therefore non-titling) event, plenty of competitors entered. There were 1975 runs, with 346 dogs entered on Saturday (with 244 different handlers) and 259 on Sunday (with 181 handlers). These handlers donated money, not only through entry fees, but also by buying places on a memorial wall for dogs already lost to cancer (or in celebration of dogs that defeated it), purchasing T-shirts, and buying raffle tickets. Many of the winners donated back their cash awards as well. This year’s event raised approximately $42,000 toward cancer research!

Congratulations to the overall winners of the 2011 Texas Agility Shoot-out:

4"/8": Courtney Keys and Francine
12": Cindy Zangrilli and Jackson
16": Randy York and Perry
20"/22": Mary Karner and Tater
24"/26": Pam White and Korel

4"/8": Linda Knowles and Megan
12": Stacy Bols and Krusher
16": Emily Hurt and Ivie
20"/22": Stacy Bols and Kassie
24"/26": Virgie Jones and Ember

For full results and other details about the Shoot-out, please visit www.txagilityshootout.com.