Welcome to Part 2 of my adventures in the Czech Republic competing at the 2023 Agility World Championship (AWC) with Keeper, the second youngest of my pack of five dogs. You can read part one of this series here.
In part one I shared my journey to the Czech Republic, and gave you a run-down of what happens behind the scenes prior to an International Competition. So, what came after the vet check and on-site team practice? Let's get into the meat of things!
I am back home now from attending my first International competition with Keeper – the Agility World Championships (AWC) in the Czech Republic. What an amazing 12 days away competing and experiencing one of the most prestigious agility events in the world! I’d love to take you with me on journey inside my trip, and highlight my experience with little Miss Keep Keep. Hands down, this was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget! After coming off such a disappointing first world competition with Shades in May (when he got injured), I was hoping this experience would re-energize my excitement for world-level agility – and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
My girl, Keeper, and I recently competed at the UKI Canadian Nationals and WAO Team Canada Tryouts in Saint John, New Brunswick, September 7th - 10th. I packed up my RV and my five pups, and we went on an almost 3,000 km roundtrip road trip to make it to the Nationals.
Keeper, a three-year-old sheltie, competed at her first-ever National event with over 450 dogs participating! Talk about a milestone for her!
It was an agility marathon over four packed days, and Keeper proved that she could compete with some of the best 12" dogs in the country! Many American friends also came up to compete and pushed the competition and course times with their border paps and sport mixes! It was also great to see two of my fellow MCR team members compete - Stacy and Ainsley. Several of my elite coaching students from the United States also attended and had outstanding weekends with their dogs. This was the definition of an international competition with some of the best handlers and teams from Canada and the U.S.
I am so proud of how Keeper handled the environment, the competition and her ability to stay focused and connected (mostly!). She also proved that she can keep times with some of the fastest dogs in Canada and the U.S. We were able to pull off multiple top 10 place finishes and ended up placing 2nd in Canada for the Games event.
Here are a few of my favourite runs during the UKI Canadian Nationals: