Over the past few years, it seems that more and more young handlers have taken quite an interest in the performance side of the dog sport. Young agility competitors have proven time and time again that they can compete in the “big leagues.” To showcase just what they are made of, certain events are organized for those juniors who work so hard with their dogs.

For the second year in a row, a few select juniors will represent the U.S. at the Agility Junior European Open competition. I am excited to introduce you to this year’s team members.

Tryssa Ellis deRuyter and her All-American dog Ace will compete in the large-dog category.

Tryssa deRuyter and her agility dogs. Photo courtesy of Tryssa Ellis deRuyter.

Winning a spot in the medium-dog category are Claire O’Neil and her Keeshond Ama.

Team member Claire O’Neil, with her dog, Ama, is pictured with USA team coach Chris Ott, at left, and team manager Frankie Joiris. Photo by Kayla Bertagnolli.

In the small-dog category, Jessica Vanden Langenberg and her Boston Terriers, Mayhem and Stormy, will represent the U.S.

Jessica Vanden Langenberg with her Boston Terrier Mayhem. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vanden Langenberg.

The three young handlers and their coach, Chris Ott, and team manager, Frankie Joiris, will travel to Wichtrach, Switzerland, for this year’s competition, which takes place on July 13 and 14.

For more details on this event and to find out how to keep up with current news, visit the 2013 Agility Junior European Open website.

Also be sure to “like” Team USA on Facebook, where updates will be posted along with ways to support these talented upcoming stars!

Let’s send lots of good vibes and a positive attitude to Team USA as its members prep for the big event. And “congrats” to Jessica, Claire and Tryssa on making the team!

Be sure to send your congratulations with a comment below that shows your love for these great handlers!

See I told you, (Agility) Dogs Freakin’ Rule!