2011 AKC National Agility Championships
SOTC's own, Dan Wolfson and his Shetland Sheepdogs, Zoey (MACH3 Plail's Zoe la Loba Deleitosa, age 6) and Diego (MACH Diego el Lobo Pequeno, age 8) recently competed at the 15th Annual AKC National Agility Championships in Lexington, VA.
After three tough rounds of competition, both of his dogs achieved one of the most sought after goals and earned berths in the Finals rounds. Of the 240 dogs in the 16" division, only 17 of the fastest and most consistent dogs earned one of the coveted spots in the Finals.
After the dust had settled, Diego ran a clean round to finish in 5th place overall and Zoey with 5 faults, ended with a more than satisfactory 13th place.
When asked, Dan gave credit to the foundations laid by the Sarasota Obedience Training Club's agility program and instructors, with special credit to current and seven-time World Team member and instructor, Karen Holik (www.oncourseagility.com), who also teaches and conducts seminars at SOTC and of course, to his wife, Linda for always being there for him. This training, not only prepared Dan and his dogs with the skills to successfully navigate the tough courses at Nationals, but also gave him the mental preparation to handle the stress and excitement of having not only one, but two, dogs in the finals.
In Dan's words, "Going out into the finals ring is going to be one of those moments that I will always remember and cherish. The crowds cheered every run so loudly; I could barely hear the whistle from the judge telling me to start! Amazingly, I was calm and so were the dogs. Both dogs gave me everything they had, it was so beautiful and amazing to have them out there."
Of special note, Zoey earned 4th place in the International State Team Tournament in the 18" divison, held the day before Nationals began. This was the second year in row that Zoey has done earned 4th place. What consistency! What makes this achievement more noteworthy is that many of the dogs in this 18" division have already been on the World Team or will be trying out to make the Team, like Dan and Zoey, in early May in Minneapolis, MN.
SOTC and it's Members are very proud of Dan and his accomplishments and wish him well at the World Team tryouts. We expect that he will offer up a very large bill during the "brags" part of our general meeting! Congratulations, Dan!!