The results are in, and this year for the first time, at what is now called ITT – short for International Team Tryouts – not one but two separate U.S. teams were chosen for two separate agility competitions. The event has been called the World Team Tryouts, or WTT, in the past. This year’s ITT included competitions for both the FCI World Agility Championships and European Open with tryouts taking place on the same courses. As you will see below, some handlers are on both teams because dogs and handlers were able to try out for one or both teams over the weekend.
This year’s team members for the Agility World Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa, are…drum roll please:
- • Barb Davis and Shetland Sheepdog Skecher;
- • Kory Kaye and Shetland Sheepdog Kaemon;
- • Jay Kessel and American Eskimo Tweek; and
- • Alicia Nicholas and Papillon Ho.
- • Deb Schulman and Poodle Spencer
- • Tinna Brown and Border Collie Tirade;
- • Greg Kirmeier and Border Collie Robbie;
- • Linda Mecklenburg and Border Collie Wonder; and
- • Daisy Peel and Border Collie Solar.
Alternates for the Large Dog Team
- • Kathleen Desvigne and Viviane; and
- • Linda Mecklenburg and Scopey.
I had a chance to hear from four-time team member Daisy Peel, and she was so kind to share with us just how she feels about this year’s competition.
“I am very proud to once again be representing the USA at the World Championships. This year, Solar and I will represent the USA at the World Championships for the fourth time, as we travel to South Africa to compete. This is a big step for the World Championships, as it moves from its traditional location on the European continent. I hope that all countries that typically participate will join the USA at the World Championships this year. Those of us competing from afar (the USA, Canada, South America, Japan, China and other non-European countries) have always had to travel to be at the World Championships, and this year, we will make the trip again. Despite the travel, non-European countries have been able to rise to the occasion and have been able to show the world what they are made of. I hope that the European countries will join the USA in taking flight toward the World Championships in South Africa! I will be crossing my fingers that this will be a wonderful event!”
The second team that was selected at this year’s ITT was for the American Kennel Club USA European Open team, which will travel to Belgium.
Below is a full list of team members. The first four dog-and-handler teams in each size division are those that won their way onto the team and will be sponsored by the AKC. Additional team members were selected to compete as well.
- • Silvina Bruera and Border Collie Tcam;
- • Roseanne DeMascio and Border Collie Strafe;
- • Rose Savkov and Border Collie Tex;
- • Terry Smorch and Border Collie Presto;.
- • Linda Mecklenburg and Border Collie Wonder;
- • Peel and Solar;
- • Ashley Anderson and Border Collie Psi;
- • Stacey Campbell and All-American Dog Roo;
- • Jessica Crawford and Border Collie Crusade;
- • Danielle Davis and Border Collie Devlin;
- • Dudley Fontaine and Border Collie Jack;
- • Laura Jones and Kep;
- • Rob Michalski and Belgian Tervuren Wings;
- • Stefanie Rainer and Border Collie Spree;
- • Tori Self and Border Collie Rev; and
- • Desiree Snelleman and Border Collie Pace.
- • Diane Goodspeed and Sheltie Demon;
- • John Nys and Sheltie Rush;
- • Jen Pinder and Sheltie Britain;
- • Maureen Waldron and Shelties Mickle and Michael;
- • Gayle Anderson and Sheltie Charger;
- • Karen Beattie Massey and Pumi Bella; and
- • Kelly Maier and All-American Dog Tucker.
Small Dogs (All Shelties)
- • Denise Kilpatrick and Tyler;
- • Kim Line Berget and Racket;
- • Kathleen Oswald and Jenna;
- • Anne Stockum and Breeze;
- • Laura Dolan and Race;
- • Kathie Leggett and Shout;
- • Marcy Mantell and Wave; and,
- • Heidi Vania and Ice;
This year, history will be made with two very special team members, who happen to be mother and daughter. They each earned their spots on the team and look forward to traveling and competing on the same team, but who am I to tell you about it? I had a chance to catch up with them, and here is what they had to say:
From Kathleen Oswald: “My mother, Diane Goodspeed, and I have always functioned as a unit in the sport: training, trailing, discussing courses, and conditioning the dogs together. I’m not only thrilled to be representing the USA and the AKC in Belgium this July at the European Open, but to also be part of the first mother-daughter team with Diane. Our journeys in agility are truly intertwined, and it’s amazing to have my coach, training partner and mother there with me every step.”
From Diane Goodspeed: “Winning a spot on the 2013 EO team is just the first part of the adventure. Representing the USA at one of the largest European events of the year is an honor and having my daughter, Kathleen Oswald, as a fellow team member is exciting and fun. As her coach (and mother), I am very proud of her. I also consider Kathleen my coach so we have a unique relationship.”
From mother and daughter: “We train, trial and teach together all year, so we have a solid foundation to draw on for this summer’s event. Having a teammate that you also work with daily is a huge advantage. Our training sessions are great fun, and we demand perfection from each other on every sequence. At trials, we support each other with subtle reminders to stick with routines, staying calm with breathing exercises and filling in for each other during warm-ups. Both our team dogs are trained on the same system, so walking the course is very much a joint effort. Kathleen knows Demon as well as Diane know Jenna. It is a big confidence boost to know that Kathleen has seen the same lines and potential problem areas or traps as Diane. We then set out to maximize our dogs’ skills on the course for clean, fast rounds.
”Agility provides an excellent family sport. Both Kathleen and Kevin, brother and son, have run dogs, though Kathleen has a much deeper interest. Training and trialing with any close friend or family member can be tricky. We both work hard at respecting each other’s feelings, and always, always praise effort and note success before any criticism. Our rule is positive before negative for our students, and we use the same rule when coaching each other. We’ve been a strong team for years and are truly looking forward to the event in Belgium.”
You can support the team members here or by giving them a shoutout or personal message in the comment section below.
Congratulations to both teams’ members!
See, I told you, Dogs Freakin’ Rule!