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USDAA Trial Hosted by ARFF Agility Club

ARFF held a USDAA trial on September 2-3, 2017.

By Sue Lohrer

  • Club: ARFF (Agility is Really Fun for Fido) Agility Club
  • Location: Westford, Massachusetts
  • Dates: September 2-3, 2017
  • Chair: Teri Olsen and Susan Giordano
  • Secretary: Valori Duff, K9 Agility Services
  • Judges: Becky Dean and Meagan Skelton

ARFF Agility Club held its popular two-day, two-ring outdoor trial over the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 and 3, 2017 at the Middlesex County 4H Fairgrounds in Westford, Massachusetts. The site is charming and old-fashioned with open-air fairground pavilions for crating and stands of massive pine trees.

June and Mary Steedly after their Buddys Run

Saturday provided perfect agility weather with a glorious, cool, sunny day. The morning kicked off with ARFF's traditional Buddy's Run to honor retired and retiring agility dogs. There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd as the announcer read a bio for each entry and the excited older dogs got to be back in the agility ring again. It was an all Aussie line-up as the dogs and their handlers ran a simplified Starters Jumpers course. Nearly-deaf Ripp (owned by Sue Paterson) raced after Amanda Dionne, June strutted her stuff with Mary Steedly, and Jake ran enthusiastically with Eileen Sickler.

Judge's briefing in the Masters Ring

Starters/Advanced Judge Meagan Skelton designed flowing and interesting courses that offered appropriate challenges for younger dogs and their handlers. Competitors appreciated her kindness and thorough briefings. Masters Judge Becky Dean likewise offered stimulating Masters course challenges and unflagging good humor on both days. You will see her smiling in the background of many photos taken by trial photographer extraordinaire, Donna Kelliher, even as Becky got wetter and wetter in Sunday's rains.

Enjoying Saturday evening's BBQ

The club hosted a BBQ dinner (with vegetarian burritos for those who wanted them) on Saturday evening. About 40 competitors and guests enjoyed conversations, the barbeque selections, delicious sides, and watermelon for dessert.

Sally's Kitchen

ARFF presented an amazing worker's raffle to show its appreciation for all of the volunteers that make an agility trial possible. The varied array of prizes, both new and repurposed, literally offered something for everyone. ARFF member Sally Willard once again provided healthy handcrafted sandwiches in Sally's Kitchen, along with other delectable snacks for volunteers and competitors.

ARFF is lucky to partner with the Westford 4H Club and the young 4Hers provided extra hands for a multitude of volunteer tasks. ARFF appreciates their helping hands, enthusiasm and energy!

Fabulous volunteer workers

The rings were packed up in record time Sunday afternoon, while a soft drizzle fell. Thank you to the tireless ring builders and volunteers and Irene of Max 200, for your help all weekend long and with this last task. Everyone is looking forward to another great Labor Day weekend of agility next year!

Titles Earned


Handler & Dog Name


Cheryl Killam, Deena


Maureen Melo, Keely

MPD (P-Mad)

Sandi Bixler, Trudy


Seth Dunn, Oswin


Judy Kessler, Monte


Maureen Melo, Gwen

PKM, PKCH-Bronze

Paula Miloglav-Recco, Chime


Jimmy Cody, Doc


Tracey Fulmer, Whit

SCH- Platinum, GCH- Platinum

Martha Francis, Gino


Rachel Henry, Gromit


Sabrina La Fave-Saletnik, Gem


Sandy Cody, Jed


Sue Lohrer, Teddy


John Marcus, Jake


Linda Medcraft, Swift


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