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USDAA Message
By Kenneth Tatsch

USDAA PresidentThis issue is reaching you on the eve of the 2014 IFCS World Agility Championships, which are being held in the Netherlands from May 8-11. The US Team is made up of 20 dogs and 19 handlers (one handler has two dogs on the team!), the most the US has ever sent to an IFCS event.

Andy Hartman and I are in the Netherlands to support the team and coach Rachel Sanders. We'll be videotaping the event with commentary for upload, as the Internet bandwidth at the facility has proven unstable while testing the stream. We are, however, working on arranging for upload of each day's captured video stream on short timetable so that potential viewers may begin watching the event on a time-delayed basis. Please watch the usdaa.com news page and posts to Facebook for more information as it becomes available.

This abbreviated newsletter will help you get ready for the event. After the IFCS World Agility Championships are completed, we will be doing a follow-up issue with results and details. Watch your email inbox later in May for that edition. To follow along during the event, check USDAA's news page for courses, stories, and results. Also, visit USDAA's facebook page for more coverage or follow along on twitter.

We are excited to see how our team stacks up to others from around the world in this Olympic-style event. It should be an exciting week!

2014 IFCS World Agility Championships Team Primer

USDAA's team of 20 dogs and handlers will compete against teams from 17 other countries to earn Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in various events. Rule changes for the 2014 event have increased the maximum number of dogs and handlers per team to 20. Sixteen individual handlers may be included on a team, plus up to four past IFCS medal winners per nation (eligible handlers have won an IFCS Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal from any IFCS World Agility Championship or IFCS Continental Championship since 2002).

Consideration for a position on the US team was offered first to the handler/dog with the highest number of Team Selection Points (TSPs) in each jump height earned at the IFCS Continental Championship of the Americas (CCOA), held April 24-28, in Fort Worth, Texas (four handlers/dogs selected) and the USDAA Cynosport World Games, held October 23-27, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (four handlers/dogs selected). Eight team members and the alternates were chosen based on the highest total combined TSPs from CCOA and Cynosport. Four handler/dog teams were chosen based on being past medalists (handler and dog) as described above.

Monique Plinck and Tiki are ready for the event! Photo courtesy of Monique Plinck.


Team USA is made up of:

12"
Andy Mueller and Crackers
Daneen Fox and Masher
Ivette White and Zip
Monique Plinck and Tiki
Linda Womer and Sonic
Mike Padgett and Kona (Alternate)

16"
Stacy Bols and Krusher
Maureen Waldron and Michael
Jenn Crank and Kaboo
Jennifer Thomas and Rodeo
Giuliana Lund and Zuri

(Giuliana Lund and Zuri replaced Jen Pinder and Britain, who cannot compete due to injury.)

22"
Mary Ellen Barry and Maizy
Paulena-Renee Simpson and Graphite
Jeannette Hutchison and Rumble
Kate Moureaux and Smart
Stacy Peardot-Goudy and Sobe

(Stacy Peardot-Goudy and Sobe replaced Lisa Kucharski and Finesse, who cannot compete due to injury.)

26"
Lori Michaels and Solei
Desiree Snelleman and Pace
Terry Smorch and Presto
Ashley Anderson and Psi
Jenn Crank and Sonic
Jamie Herren and Zip (Alternate)

Team USA is largely made up of competitors with experience traveling overseas to events. Most of the team considers this previous experience to be very beneficial. As 12" team member Monique Plinck, who is attending the event with her Papillon, Tiki, says, "Being in Belgium two years ago has me better mentally prepared for the level of competition. I have a better feel for how the event is run, what traveling with a team is like.... I won't be anticipating as many 'new' things." Maureen Waldron, who is on the 16" team with her Shetland Sheepdog, Michael, agrees: "I think I have learned a lot at these competitions, which has helped my mental game. I am able to focus on what's important and not allow my concentration be diverted by trivial things."


Mary Ellen Barry and Maizy. Photo courtesy of Ian Watts Photography.

Much of the team gathered to practice with coach Rachel Sanders on March 31st in Barto, Pennsylvania. (Read more about the team practice here.) Team members have also done a lot of preparation on their own to make sure they are at the top of their game this week. They have been working hard on their own fitness and that of their dogs, as well as training on courses similar to what they will see in the Netherlands. As Jennifer Crank, the only handler with two dogs on the team, says, "In addition to what I have done on my own, Rachel has done a great job preparing us for the event. The best way for me to prepare is to look up courses from the judges that will be at the event and set up their past courses. I have spent many training days building and running courses that I hope to be similar to what we will see at the event." Coach Sanders provided competitors with many courses for training purposes.

The competitors describe looking forward to seeing some great agility at the IFCS World Agility Championships in addition to enjoying the chance to compete against the best competitors from around the world. Kate Moureaux, who is on the 22" team with her Border Collie, Smart, has even more reasons to be excited about the event. She says, "I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with Smart. I love the atmosphere and excitement of international events. I also feel very sentimental that I am returning to the same country that I had my first [IFCS World Agility Championship] experience in, back in 2006, with Smart's grandma, Quick." And Stacy Bols, competing on the 16" team with her Miniature Schnauzer, Krusher, is going to be sentimental for other reasons: "After Krusher was diagnosed with malignant Melanoma in December, I was not sure if he would be around to compete here. After sailing though radiation treatment and getting back into the ring, I really feel is he ready to rock the international stage. Getting to step to the line with this dog, representing Team USA and the Miniature Schnauzer breed is something I am very proud of."


Stacy Bols and Krusher. Photo courtesy of Melissa Sheehan, True Colors Photography.

Learn more about the USA team members on the USDAA news page.

IFCS World Agility Championships Live Stream Information

The IFCS World Agility Championship will most likely only be available on demand because a reasonable solution for unstable Internet connectivity at the venue has not been found as of this writing. Instead, organizers are seeking to have files uploaded as soon as possible following each day's activity, delayed viewing. The specific timetable for uploads and resulting availability has not yet been determined. Please watch for further announcements on the USDAA website news page and USDAA's Facebook page. Posts from the event will also be available there.
 
Once available, on-demand video can be found on www.Cynosport.TV for a low cost of $12. Andy Hartman and Ken Tatsch will be producing the video with commentary in hopes of providing a more informed viewing on-demand. In the meantime, should the stability issue for the Internet connection be resolved, a live stream option for purchasers of the on-demand video package will be made available for no extra charge. In any case, on demand video will be online no later than May 21st.

The event runs from Thursday, May 8th, through Sunday, May 11th. Support the event by purchasing the On-Demand video package at www.cynosport.tv.

Watch and cheer for Team USA!

IFCS World Agility Championships Schedule of Events

Staying up late to watch the live stream? Remember that the Netherlands is currently six hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, so an 8 am event start means that the stream will be available on the 2:00 am Eastern time, 1:00 am Central time, and 11:00pm Pacific.

Here's a schedule of events:

Thursday, May 8, 2014
0800 - 0845 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
0845 - 0900 National Anthem & Announcements
Championship Classes
0900 - 1200 Jumping Individual & towards All Around
1200 - 1230 Course Build
1230 - 1315 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
1315 - 1615 Snooker Individual & towards All Around
1645 - 1715 Podium Medal Presentation for all classes for the day*

Friday, May 9, 2014
0800 - 0845 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
0845 - 0900 National Anthem & Announcements
Championship Classes
0900 - 1145 Jumping Biathlon (B1)
1145 - 1215 Course Build
1215 - 1300 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
1300 - 1500 Jumping Team Triathlon (T1)
1500 - 1530 Course Build
1530 - 1615 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
1615 - 1915 Gamblers Individual & towards All Around
1945 - 2015 Podium Medal Presentation for all classes for the day*

Saturday, May 10, 2014
0800 - 0845 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing (Gamblers)
0845 - 0900 National Anthem & Announcements
Championship Classes
0900 - 1200 Agility-Standard Individual & towards All Around
1200 - 1230 Course Build
1230 - 1315 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
1315 - 1515 Agility-Standard Team Triathlon
1545 - 1615 Podium Medal Presentation for all classes for the day*

Sunday, May 11, 2014
0800 - 0845 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing (Jumping)
0845 - 0900 National Anthem & Announcements
Championship Classes
0900 - 1200 Agility-Standard Biathlon (B2)
1200 - 1230 Course Build
1230 - 1315 Walk-through & Judges' Briefing
1315 - 1515 3 Dog Team Relay Team Triathlon (3)
1545 - 1615 Podium Medal Presentation for all classes for the day*
1700 - 1745 Closing Ceremony*

*Finishing time may be slightly later depending on outcome of any team disputes.

Click here for the most up-to-date IFCS World Agility Championships information.

Good luck to Team USA!



Questions? Mail - USDAA, PO Box 850955, Richardson, TX 75085; Call - (972) 487 - 2200; Email - info@usdaa.com.

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