Ten days is not long enough to really experience the Czech Republic, especially when you consider that the focus of the trip is agility and not sight seeing! Four of those days I spent indoors at the World Championship,and 3 more were spent partially on training and checking in at the event. But it was beautiful nonetheless and I hope I am lucky enough to be able to visit Prague again some time. The food, the colors of the city, the architecture and the history cannot be adequately enjoyed in just the three days I spent there prior to the World Championships. Some notable site are the Charles Bridge, Old Town, John Lennon’s wall, the Jewish Cemetery and the Castle. And the easiest way to see lots of it is by Segway tour. This was my 3rd or 4th segway tour, and while the tour guide was not the sharpest, I still had a great time zooming around town with my travel-mates Daisy and her husband David and we saw many of the city’s sites during the two hour adventure.
After the too short Prague adventure we headed to the Team’s home base hotel a 90 minute drive north of the City. We hooked up with the rest of the team and got ready to begin our week of preparation and competition. Our crazy busy week went like this: Monday morning team meeting then practice. Tuesday practice, Wednesday vet checks at the site, Thursday…what a day! Team practice on site at 7:30 AM, Thursday afternoon Opening Ceremonies, Thursday evening Large dog team jumpers runs, and Thursday night standing on the podium! Friday/Saturday/Sunday more competing and then by 9 AM back on a bus to the Prague airport. It was an exciting week with a great group of handlers and the wonderful supporters that traveled with us.
This years team was a special one. A great group of individuals that clicked as a team at the first practice and that continued the camaraderie throughout the months leading up to the event. Team dynamics are so important. We spend a lot of time together and nothing can be more stressful than traveling unless it is traveling with 15 individuals and 12 dogs on the road to the most important event of the year, or possibly your entire career. This team did it all with a smile on their face and some stress relieving fun during break times. I look forward to many more years of working with this incredible group of handlers.
I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from our trip to the Czech Republic and a highlight of some of the Team’s incredible accomplishments.
A hearty congratulations to Team 2012!
Large dogs, gold in team jumpers- WAY TO GO! Silvina Bruera, Channan Fosty, Daisy Peel and & Tori Self. There is nothing more exciting for an agility handler or a coach than to stand on the podium at the World Championships and listen to your National Anthem being played. Just an emotional, exciting and happy WOW!
Daisy Peel, highest overall individual placement for a USA handler, 5th in the world. Yahoo and well done Daisy! Your last run was incredible and had us holding our breath to see where you would finish.
Silvina Bruera had a phenomenol event finishing 3rd in team jumpers, with 3 of 4 clean runs and helping the team take Gold in jumping and tying Tori for 15th place in Individual jumpers. This was Silvina and TCam’s first time on the Team, but not her first time to attend the World Championships. Before becoming a US Citizen Silvina represented her home country of Argentina with her Doberman Aira and her border collie Maja.
Channan Fosty, best overall team member performance with 4 out of 4 fast exciting clear rounds and finishing 16th in the World and helping the team take Gold in jumping. I am so proud of my students Channan & Silvina, all the commitment to training and conditioning your dogs paid off and I can’t say how exciting it was to watch you perform at your best at the event we have been training for all year.
Tori Self, Another great performance for our youngest team member with a 5th in Team jumping and tying for 15th place with Silvina in Individual jumpers and helping get the team to the podium for the Jumpers gold medal!
Congratulations to Medium team members John Nys and Laurene Galgano for their two clean team runs and getting the team close to earning a silver medal. John finished 8th in team jumpers and 15th in individual jumpers and showed his usual kick butt attitude that took him so close to one of the individual medals this year.
Well done Small Dog Team for earning a bronze medal in team jumpers! This was Dee Gamels’ Kelsi’s international retirement event and they had 3 out of 4 clean runs. A great event for Dee Anna and Kelsi and a wonderful way to end an outstanding international career. Laura Dolan & Race were 2 for 2 in team and Laura kicked butt in small dog team agility earning an 8th place.
Congratulations to the entire team, it is never just about an individual at the Agility World Championships. Without the entire team’s participation we would not have had such a great event and such outstanding results.
Next year the event is in South Africa, and no doubt it will be an interesting one, but that is an entire other post!