by Brenna Fender



2012 AKC National Agility Championships

By Brenna Fender, Photo courtesy Great Dane Photos

This year’s AKC National Agility Championship took place March 30 through April 1 in Reno, Nevada. More than 900 dogs came to Reno to compete to be crowned National Agility Champion, earning the right to add the coveted NAC title to their dog’s registered names.

The event started on Friday, with a warm-up Standard run. There was an optional Time 2 Beat “bye run” offered on Friday as well. The first place winner of each jump height for the Regular and Preferred T2B classes earned a bye into Sunday’s Challengers round. Round one, Jumpers with Weaves, and round two, Standard, were held on Saturday. On Sunday, all competitors ran in a hybrid round, which was a mixture of Standard and JWW. Then it was time for the Challenger’s class, which was run by dogs with byes earned on Friday plus the top four dogs within each jump height from rounds 1, 2, and 3 that did not already gain placement into the finals (assuming they scored 100 in their placing round and had at least two clean rounds out of the three). The dog that won the Challenger’s Class in each jump height was entered into the Finals, which were held after the Challenger round was completed on Sunday.

The event, which was webcast by www.agilityvision.com, was very competitive, but handlers also seemed to have lots of fun. Daisy Peel, who won the 26" National Agility Championship with not-yet-five-year-old Solar (a Border Collie), was “amazed, proud, and happy” to win a fourth national championship with this dog. (Her dog Solar has won the USDAA Grand Prix at the Cynosport World Games twice and the AKC NAC twice.) Peel says, “The competition just gets fiercer and fiercer! The event was great; the surface was good, the event was well organized, the courses were fun, and the weather cooperated (for the most part, if you don’t count the little bit of snow we got!). I’m already looking forward to next year. I’m definitely a ‘big events’ type of gal; I love the energy of a big event. This year, the Challenger’s Round was particularly fun to watch. Everybody was just going for it! And, the course was arguably the most challenging of the whole weekend. I love watching handlers and dogs give it all they’ve got!”

Peel wasn’t the only one who had a great time. Janelle Julyan, whose Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Eve, won the 8" Preferred National Agility Championship, says, “I left AKC Nationals this year with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and appreciation. Getting to run at a national event is always a thrill and to get to do it with a dog that is your heart and soul is an experience that is beyond words. Winning is amazing but the true joy for me is the feeling of running in near perfect sync with my teammate.”

For courses and results from this event, click here. 

Congratulations to the winners!

AKC National Agility Champions:

8" – CH MACH2 StarStruck Anticipation OF (Carly)/Papillon/Andrea Samuels
12" – Bare Cove Tri To Keep Up MX MXJ NF (Race)/Shetland Sheepdog/Laura Dolan
16" – NAC MACH3 Luka De La Brise XF (Luka)/Pyrenean Shepherd/Ashley Deacon
20" – MACH2 Contact Points Red Alert Of Lightfoot (Zing!)/Border Collie/Gabrielle Blackburn
24" – MACH Chiron Incyta More Smarts CD MXF (Smartie)/Belgian Tervuren/Julie Hill
26" – NAC MACH Super Sun OF (Solar)/Border Collie/Daisy Peel

AKC Preferred National Agility Champions:

4" – Kaylin Special Edition AX AXJ MXP MJP (Buddy Lee)/Papillon/Dennis McCoy/Handler: Mike McCoy
8" – MACH2 Willowbend Enchanted Evening MXP MJP NF (Eve)/Pembroke Welsh Corgi/Janelle Julyan
12" – MACH2 Guided Tour MXP MJP OF (Tori)/Border Collie/Beth Rogers
16" – MACH PACH Barjor’s Virtual Reality Emulator HSAs MXP4 MJP4 PAX MXF XFP (Emma)/Border Collie/Barbara Persson
20" – PACH2 Oliver OA AXJ MXP7 MJP9 PAX2 OF MFP TQXP (Oliver)/Border Collie/Ira Dauer

The 2013 National Agility Championships will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 15-17. Qualifying information is available on the AKC website.