Posted Date: March 29, 2017
The March OVERview message from USDAA's President Ken Tatsch.
By Ken Tatsch
It is hard to imagine 30 years have passed since USDAA was founded. USDAA was created following its first exhibition competition in November 1986.This was followed by a year of exhibitions and demonstrations in communities, and the hosting of a national team event in 1987. The visibility of that event, despite the fact only six teams participated, propelled the sport into the limelight, inspiring many nationwide to get involved in this sport. Attracting the attention of a national sponsor, USDAA launched the Grand Prix of Dog Agility® in 1988, in Houston, Texas, attracting a whopping seventy-nine competitors nationwide, most of whom had never run a complete course other than in training and exhibitions. The following year, USDAA established ten regionals through which competitors would qualify to participate in the 1989 Grand Prix championships. The rest, they say, is history.
Following the 1989 Grand Prix, competitors began traveling far and wide to participate in as many of those few events as possible. There were no other events for dog agility nationwide, so the dedication of those early competitors paved the way for others. Each competition was a promotional event, in that they exposed the sport to more dog owners. USDAA had a presence at community events and dog shows to promote the sport. To this day, the most effective promotion of the sport is a showcase event before the public. Such events also brought credibility to the sport, by providing well-deserved recognition from the public, earning respect for the accomplishments of competitors.
The USDAA titling program was introduced in spring of 1990, providing a means of measuring progress in training. Each level progressively requires the development of additional skill sets, patterned after the actual evolution of the sport. USDAA Title Mania® was introduced last year to feature competitors at the various levels of competition in all five titling classes, which proved to be a popular addition to the program.
USDAA titling programs and tournament series work in tandem to offer a broad-based sporting opportunity, regardless of one's objectives. The focus on testing of specific skill sets at different levels in titling and testing the application of those skills by competing head-to-head in one or more of USDAA's tournaments provide the complete package for enjoyment of this sport.
We invite everyone to join us at the 2017 Cynosport World Games in Murfreesboro, Tennessee this October, as well as one or more of our three Title Mania events, as we celebrate 30 years of history for USDAA and the sport of dog agility in North America. We are exploring various special functions and features for Cynosport. For those of you who have long been a part of USDAA events, we invite you to send us stories with photos or video that have been memorable USDAA moments in your past. For those of you in the sport for only a short while, we welcome your stories of moments that have inspired you to get involved. Please send to the USDAA office, at MemorableMoments@usdaa.com.