Second Annual Breeze Thru Agility Vermont Cup
On July 22-24, 2011, competitors attending the Breeze Thru Agility CPE trial at the Guilford Fairgrounds in Vermont had the opportunity to enter an exciting, innovative team competition. Seventeen three-dog-teams took on the challenge, some traveling to the event from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Maine. Before the first run of the trial on Friday, every handler on each team selected four titling runs which they would contribute toward their team score. Scores from a total of 12 standard and game class runs per team were accumulated over the three days of competition, leading up to one winning team. Teams could be made up of dogs from any jump height or CPE level, which allowed any dog and handler to be a part of the big event. Dogs earned regular titling legs at the same time that they were competing for the new Vermont Cup.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, trial secretary Val Reiner read the Cup standings as of the end of the previous day, keeping team members up-to-date on their rankings. But despite the exciting team competition, the trial had a friendly and laid back atmosphere. Judge Paul Stusalitus of Connecticut presided over the event, which went smoothly even though it was excessively hot.
At the close of competition on Sunday, “The Quarks” ended up on top. This team, made up of Sheila Vara’s Quincy (a Papillon), Denise Corley’s Doolin; (a terrier mix), and Rolanda Dane’s Remi (a Collie), will have their names engraved on the Cup and will remain the Vermont Cup champions until next year’s contest. The winners also received a bag of dog treats and the top six teams received placement rosettes.
Competitors had good things to say about this inaugural event. Trisha Stall, who ran with her dog Lucy on the LAZy Dogs of Summer team, says “I thought Elise came up with a wonderful idea with her first annual Vermont Cup competition. You didn’t have to sign up for any extra classes. All you had to do was pick two teammates and then use each teammate’s strengths and weaknesses to pick and choose which ones each team member was to run. That’s where strategy came into play; if you chose wisely, you got a lot of points for your team….There was lots of cheering and high fiving when team members came through in a pinch! Paul Stasulitis, the judge, set out some pretty challenging, but do-able, courses, which was perfect for this event….I would absolutely choose to go back again next year!” Janet Langdon, who had dogs on two different teams, agrees: “Of course, I’ll do it again next year. [It was a] low stress team competition; no need to be on the course at the same time as the other dogs (which is good for my reactive Fiona) but you’re still part of a team.”
The fun of shared team camaraderie was a big factor in many competitors’ enjoyment of the event. Nancy Corriveau had three dogs (Lucy, Gracie, and Koda) on three different teams, and she loved it! She says, “I had a wonderful time with the Vermont Cup at the Breeze Thru CPE trial….I really enjoyed the sense of team spirit at the event. We all encouraged each other, made sure to watch all of our teams’ runs and ended each run with a high five.…Even though we ran in 90 degree plus heat every day, it didn’t matter; spirits were up in hopes of winning the Vermont Cup! Where else could three first year dogs known as the ‘Green as Grass’ team ever come in third place? I was particularly proud of my little Koda (a terrier mix) doing her part for the team. What could be better than that? I would definitely participate again. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at an agility trial.”
Partial Results: [Full Results (PDF)]
1st - Quarks
2nd - Bad Boys of Agility
3rd - Green as Grass
4th - Reverse Oreo
5th - Powerful Petites
6th - JAWS
Photo: Some members of the top six placing teams are pictured here with judge Paul Stusulitis. Photo courtesy of Elise Paffrath.