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Airedales and Agility

The sport of dog agility was first seen at the Crufts Dog Show in England in 1978. John Varley, a member of the Crufts Dog Show put together entertainment for the public during a break after the obedience championship finished and before the group judging commenced.

John's main interest was horses, not dogs. By using the horse show-jumping concept, John conceived a dog event with obstacles... a canine version of horse show jumping. With friend Peter Meanwell, a well-known Working Trials competetor and judge, they developed a set of obstacles for this fun event and rules based on Peter's knowledge of dogs.

In February 1978 the public witnesed an agility contest between two teams of dogs at Crufts. It was a great success and the future of dog agility was born. In the following years dog agility evolved into the fastest growing canine sport in the world.

The versatile Airedale has found a new facet in Agility. With Airedale enjoyment of fun and variety, Agility is right up their alley. There are still not enough of our wonderful breed competing, but the ones that are have wonderful sucess.

The agility committee was established to educate the Airedaler regarding this fun sport and promote competition. Every year the ATCA presents an award to the top Agility Airedale for the year. There is also agility activity as part of Montgomery County weekend. In 2000 the West Highland White Terrier Club of America sponsored the first ever All Terrier Trial. In 2001 there were three days of All Terrier Trials with the ATCA co-hosting one of the days. It was a tremendous success. A new tradition was started and other Terrier Clubs have come on board to share hosting duties. In 2005 there will be four days of Agility, with the ATCA hosting the Wednesday trial. More history in the making and ATCA is a part of it.

For information regarding Agility contact Deanna Corboy-Lulik, Chair AllFoursDogTraining@yahoo.com.

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