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Very interesting about the AKC-style agility. I guess I am not the only one who is sending pro-AKC messages by association. I noticed the links for the business that is conducting the agility program are very heavily AKC-oriented. Is AKC performance what we should promote at a premiere USBCHA event?

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I've wondered about that for a few years. It's a done deal this year and most likely next year too but we'll see about the future. I'm going to put out feelers about it.

 

I think it's sort of a thing with Masterson Park because when you go it's REALLY distant from the rest of the vendors. I don't know whether they insist on the distance or whether the trial folks put the distance between the two events.

 

I've also gotten the cold shoulder when I wander over there from the trial, especially with my muddy dog fresh from the trial field. I don't think they are winning friends and influencing people with their appearances there - comparasions between the two cultures cannot be favorable.

 

Hmmm, Laura, NOW who's dragging the AKC issue into every topic? Bwaaa, haa, haa! Rats, I think she's gone . . .

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The Bluegrass Classic Trial has nothing at all to do with the agility show.

 

To the best of my knowledge, any organization can book and rent a date(s) at Masterson Park if the Park has available space.

 

I really do not know why it is on as a link on the Bluegrass web site. I will find out and let you know but it will be after the Bluegrass because the rest of the officers and many volunteers are at Hanley's trial or already at Masterson Park setting up.

 

Terry Sheaffer,

Treas. KBCA

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Thank you, Terry, for that info. I thought I had heard of other USBCHA events "apparently" being connected in some way with agility demos (or perhaps even trials) that go on during the trial at or near the trial site. I assumed that the two were connected because I saw the agility activity listed on the Bluegrass website.

 

By association, even with the USBHCA or KBCA not intending, it may send a message that AKC and their activities are okay, or even approved of, by the working Border Collie community.

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Since both clubs are mutually promoting and linking to each other's sites, why wouldn't anyone think they're supportive of each other? I figured most herding people can't look at class/level descriptions and tell what style of agility it is, and that's why it had gone un-noticed. But boy, did it jump out at me. I personally love to see herding and agility on the same site (loved Oatlands that way)...what better way to peak someone's interest in the other activity?

 

-Laura

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Yes (and I'm not sure whether this is a topic for here or the political realm) - I'd love to see AKC types who show up to see the agility (non-AKC affiliated, of course), who get sucked in to the glory that is the full-fledged working Border Collie, that is on display at Open trials. "Ah!" they say, thinking with despair of their tiny world where fluffness is celebrated over grit and instinct "I want a piece of that action! Where do I sign up?"

 

OK, call me Pollyanna. But you have to start with a goal, right?

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Unfortunately, what actually happens is that the AKC types watch, and are sure their dogs would be able to do exactly the same thing, if only they were trained.

 

People see what they want to see, I'm afraid. Not all people, but most people.

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"what actually happens is that the AKC types watch, and are sure their dogs would be able to do exactly the same thing, if only they were trained."

 

Heck, isn't that what happens to a lot of us? How many people on these boards alone have gone to watch a herding trial and thought the same thing and then gotten started in lessons? I personally am as anti-akc as they come, yet still I'll give a person a chance to "see the light". Instead of just writing off all "akc types" as ignorant, why not try to educate them, just as we do to newbies on this board? Sure you won't get through to everyone, but I bet you'll open a few minds.

 

I have many friends who do AKC sports. Let's put the blame where it really lies, with the AKC organization itself, and the AKC breeders... not the innocent-minded ones who just compete at their trials.

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"what actually happens is that the AKC types watch, and are sure their dogs would be able to do exactly the same thing, if only they were trained."

 

Heck, isn't that what happens to a lot of us?

I started to say the same thing, but then I realized that I don't think that's what Melanie meant. She's focusing on the ones who look at a dog doing an Open course and think, "Yeah, Ch. EyesforEwe Fly By Night at Starshine could do the same thing if I had time [read, cared enough to bother to train him]. But conformation is more important to me right now."

 

I don't think Melanie's talking about the rush you get the first time you envision yourself with your dog out there at the Bluegrass blowing that "LOOK BACK" whistle in the Championship round. Do you know, I've had several dogs since then but Ben's still the dog I see turning back when I blow that whistle in my dream?

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I got sucked in at a USBCHA trial....I was a AKC person at that time. The person that I got a lesson from (who showed me the light) was gracious and unassuming and I had no idea who he was. (Well, now I do!) He was also the judge at the trial.

 

He gave me a lesson, I ran in Novice the next day in the trial with Tess (big disaster)... and was entralled by the trial...later that week, called my AKC trainer and told him that I was leaving......

 

.....and fast foward to now, Tess and I are running in Open.

 

Why am I saying this....?????

 

Because that person was kind and generous and still is to this day.....the other handlers took time to sit with me all weekend and explain the runs.....and people made me feel welcome.....people believed in me and my dog....people took time to be my friend...

 

and that is why I am here today.

 

Thanks for those folks who are my dear friends now.

 

So take the time to talk to an AKC person....look what happened to me when they did....you too, can make a difference...

 

Diane Pagel and Tess

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Am I missing something? I was at the Bluegrass last year and noticed an agility course set up at the far end of the dog-walking area. There was no sign, as I recall, and not a lot of action. It was certainly not an AKC event. I just now clicked on the agility link on the Bluegrass website, and there's no mention of AKC there--just that there will be an "agility show and go" (which I assume means a chance to sign up and run your dog on an agility course) at Masterson Park "held during the Bluegrass Sheepdog Trial." I clicked on the link to the organization putting on the "show and go," and there's no mention of AKC there either (at least on the first page--I didn't delve into the subpages). Yes, one of the organizations that sanctions agility trials in the US is the AKC, and yes, I assume people in the organization putting on the "show and go" sometimes participate in AKC events. (And I don't really see why there's an agility link on the Bluegrass SDT website -- I can't believe anyone who goes to that website is interested in agility.) But if all connections between border collies and the AKC were as tenuous as this one, I'd be a very happy person.

 

>

 

If the AKC organization is blameworthy, then so are the people who support it. There's enough blame to go around, and some of it belongs with border collie owners who register with the AKC and compete at their trials because "I don't care about politics, I just want to have fun with my dogs." If by "innocent-minded," you mean people who are so new to border collies that they genuinely don't know what the issues are, I wouldn't blame them. But any friends of mine are not ignorant of the issues, or at least they don't stay ignorant for long. :rolleyes:

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Eileen - If you go to the links page for the group that is putting on the agility show-and-go, you will see that they list a number of links that include the AKC itself, and other affiliated groups, and not ABCA or USBCHA. The association between the group putting on the agility event and the AKC seems very clear on that page.

 

That said, I know I am not the person to talk about association with the AKC and supporting the working Border Collie, as I am (through my membership and volunteer puppy training with our kennel club) a de facto supporter of AKC, as you have pointed out.

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What you're missing is what I figured most people unfamiliar with agility would miss....an agility person would look at the classes/levels offered and know it was an AKC style show & go. The only people who tend to go to these are AKC agility people...there's no need for anyone not running AKC agility to run there as the courses are significantly different than other styles of agility. I just found it humerous that apparently the organizers and participants of the herding trial had no idea it was AKC.

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Well, I guess I missed this too. I've been to that trial every year for the past few years and although there may be a link to the agility event on the BG site, the actual event is certainly not what I would consider "on" the trial site. I've never heard about or seen any trace of it at the trial. It's a big place and lots of things go on there during the trial - soccer, dressage shows, etc.

 

I heard this is the last year for the BG anyway, so no need in complaining at this point :rolleyes:

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>

 

Okay, I went from the Bluegrass SDT page, to the agility "show and go" page, to the organization sponsoring the "show and go"'s page, to that organization's "Links" page, and there I saw links to many agility-related websites, including the AKC, under the caption "Here is a list of links to sites which we feel you may find useful or interesting. However, we are not responsible for any information on these sites." I'm exceedingly sensitive to the issue of border collie people supporting the AKC, but this registers pretty low on my horror meter.

 

>

 

Fair enough -- I did miss it. I don't even know what a show and go is, exactly. I just assumed that it was a chance for folks to have a run on agility equipment, much like an unsanctioned "fun day" for sheepdogs. I don't particularly think it's humorous that the organizers of the Bluegrass SDT don't recognize the names of AKC classes/levels in agility. I would think it was pretty surprising if they did.

 

BTW: Nice post, Diane.

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I think spectators would have to be pretty knowledgeable about agility and the different "flavors" to even pick up on the fact that the jump heights being used are "AKC" oriented. I noticed the club putting on the events also trains mixed breeds, and I bet there will be so many different types of dogs there, that no one will notice or care. It sounds to me like it's in line with what my training group used to do at Oatlands during the sheepdog trial - just put on a demo so that average joe spectator(and his family) could have more things to looks at, therefore wanting to spend their money to get in and "spend a day in the country". If you don't understand sheepdog trialing when you are watching it, it can get pretty monotonous, especially for kids. The lasting impression I have from the first trial I observed at Oatlands (back when I had Golden Retrievers) was how loud and nasty a handlers' voice got when her dog didn't do the right thing. (Now I understand that apparently, a run was going bad, and the dog wouldn't take a liedown whistle).

PS - did that experince make me want to get involved with the USBCHA? no way...

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Like everything else the ACK does, show-n-goes are very contradictory. It sounds very casual and maybe for ACK it is, but it's not a fun let's try out the equipment thing. It's much more formal than it sounds - they do conformation and obedience show-n-goes too. Hence the cold shoulder when I wandered over with my muddy dog, I'm sure. They probably were mentally preparing to tell me that no, I couldn't "Play agility" with my obviously mixed breed sheepdog (Rick is a black and tan smooth coat).

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To clarify, show&go's are done by clubs involved with every agility org, not just ACK. There can be USDAA show&go's and NADAC show&go's, etc... These are "practice trials", and while you wouldn't want an untrained BC turned loose onto the Open trial field with your sheep, it wouldn't be safe for just anyone to wander over and "try out" the agility equipment either.

 

and FWIW, what clued me in was nothing to do w/jump heights(?), rather the terms "Excellent" (ACK top level) and "JWW" (Jumpers with Weaves - a class exclusive to ACK).

 

Someone who's never been to Bluegrass would not know the events are located far apart...they would only see the "support" of one for the other. But like I wrote, I think it's a great idea to get other sports people out to herding trials. Sorry to hear this is the last year.

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Where is this info coming from that this is the last year for Bluegrass????? While I'm not a member of the KBCA I do go to the trials pretty often, know several of the officers and I've not heard anything about this being the last year!

 

Please cite your source!

Jennifer

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The Bluegrass is AWESOME! I just got home - our very own Denise Wall and Christine Koval were in the top 20 overall of Open when I left early this afternoon. If that still stands at the end of today's Open II, they will both be running dogs in tomorrow's double lift international shed finals! Let's all wish them the best of draws and keep them in our thoughts as they run tomorrow. Just being in the finals is a tremendous honor.

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Hear, hear for the best wishes for Denise and Christine. And well done to a certain Sue and Celt for getting scores in both rounds of Novice - nice outrun,lift,fetch scores both runs, Sue. How did it feel stepping up to the post at the Bluegrass?

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